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Evanston residents age 65 years or older should have recently received 2016 Senior and Senior Freeze Property Tax Exemption renewal applications in the mail, and must file them by Wednesday, February 8, 2017. Illinois law requires seniors to reapply annually. Local seniors are encouraged to call Evanston’s Property Tax Assessment Review office at 847-448-8168 for help completing the forms.

The recently mailed senior applications are for 2016 property taxes, which are paid in calendar year 2017. The savings from these exemptions will appear on the 2017 Second Installment Property Tax Bills that will be mailed in late June and will be due on August 1, 2017.

There are two Senior Tax Exemptions:

The Senior Exemption is available to property owners born in 1951 or prior, with no income restrictions. This is available to property owners or renters responsible for paying the real estate taxes, if they used the property as their primary residence in 2016.

The Senior Freeze Exemption is available to property owners born in 1951 or prior, with a total household income of $55,000 or less during income tax year 2015. The applicant must have owned and lived in the property as of January 1, 2015 and January 1, 2016, and have been liable for the property tax bill payments for 2015 and 2016.

“If you don’t qualify for the Senior Freeze Exemption because you exceed the income level, this does not mean you will not be eligible for the Senior Exemption,” said Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios. “The Senior Exemption has no income restrictions and I’m concerned that seniors might discard the entire booklet and not receive the Senior Exemption savings to which they are entitled.”

Seniors receiving the Senior Citizen Exemption automatically receive the Homeowner Exemption. Seniors receiving the Senior Freeze Exemption automatically receive both the Homeowner and Senior Citizen Exemptions.

Information for Seniors Who Did Not Receive Mailings or First-time Applicants
Homeowners who were born in 1951 turned age 65 in 2016, and thus are likely to be eligible for one of the senior exemptions for the first time. Taxpayers who recently turned 65 may not have received applications when the senior renewal forms were mailed. Such individuals are encouraged to go to the Cook County Assessor’s website, cookcountyassessor.com, to download Homeowner, Senior and Senior Freeze Exemption applications, or call the Property Tax Assessment Review Office at 847-448-8168 to obtain the forms and information necessary to complete the applications.

Residents with questions about eligibility for senior and other exemptions should call Mitzi Gibbs, Tax Assessment Reviewer, at 847-448-8168, or email mgibbs@cityofevanston.org. The Tax Assessment Review Office is now located in Room G551 of the Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave., in Evanston.