Exemptions Available to Homeowners
Illinois law currently provides taxpayers with four homestead exemptions which may reduce the total equalized assessed valuation by the mandated amount for each exemption prior to the computation of the dollar amount of taxes due. The exemptions are as follows:
1. HEL (Owner Occupied Homestead Exemption Limited)
Available to all residential property owners who live in and own (or have a legal interest in) their home. This exemption must be applied for at the Chief County Assessment Office and is worth up to $6000 off the assessed value of the property. New construction property receives a pro-rated exemption from the date of occupancy. No annual renewal is necessary.
2. HE (Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption)
Available to all seniors, 65 and older, who live in and own (or have a legal interest in) their home. This exemption is worth $4000 off the assessed value of their property. This exemption must be applied for at the Supervisor of Assessments office. A pro-rated exemption is granted from the date of new ownership. No annual renewal is necessary.
3. SCAFHE (Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption)
This exemption enables senior citizens who are 65 and older, own (or have a legal interest in) their home, have lived in their home for the last two January firsts, and have a total household income of $55,000 or less to annually file for this exemption. This exemption freezes the assessed value of their home for property tax purposes at the assessment prior to the year of original application. Applications are mailed to senior citizens who have previously filed and are also available at the Chief County Assessment Office for those filing for the first time.
4. HIE (Homestead Improvement Exemption)
An exemption of up to $25,000 off the assessed value available on property that is owner occupied and has improvements added that were not previously on the property (garage, central air, room addition, in-ground pool, etc.). Maintenance items do not qualify. This exemption is automatically granted upon certification by the township assessor of the value of the improvement. The homeowner does not have to pay taxes on the improvement for up to four years.
5. RVT (Returning Veterans’ Homestead Exemption)
The new Returning Veterans’ Homestead Exemption provides a $5,000 reduction in a property’s equalized assessed value (EAV) to qualifying veterans who returned from active duty in an armed conflict involving the armed forces of the united Sates. The exemption is awarded the year the veteran returns and the year after. If a veteran does not own a property at the time of return but purchases one within that year, and occupies the residence on January 1 of the following year, will be awarded the exemption for that year. To receive this exemption, the veteran must file an application upon their return home with the Chief County Assessment Office.
6. DIS (Disabled Persons’ Homestead Exemption)
The Disabled Persons’ Homestead Exemption provides a $2,000 reduction in a property’s EAV for a qualifying property owned by a permanently disabled person. Proof of disability is required. A disabled person must file an annual application with the Chief County Assessment Office to continue to receive this exemption.
7. DV1 and DV2 (Disabled Veterans’ Standard Homestead Exemption)
The Disabled Veterans’ Standard Homestead Exemption provides a reduction of $2,500 in a property’s EAV for a qualifying property owned by a veteran with a service-connected disability of at least 50% but less than 70% or a $5,000 reduction homestead exemption is available to a veteran with a service-connected disability of at least 70%. A disabled veteran must file an annual application to continue to receive this exemption. Documentation is required.
8. VEZ (Disabled Veterans’ Homestead Exemption)
These exemptions apply to very few properties and are not represented in my information. These consist of the Disabled Veteran Exemption of up to $70,000 off the assessed value of a home (five in the county), and the Veteran’s and Fraternal Organization Assessment Freeze, which freezes the value of the property at 15% of the assessed value (an 85% exemption) and Knights of Columbus.
Also available to contractors upon application is the Model Home Exemption. The assessed value of the building is exempt from taxation until it is used as a residence, upon sale of the property, or rented. A pro-rated assessment is then placed on the property.