HB 833 provides for automatic annual renewal of the senior citizen exemption
Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi praised Illinois Governor JB Pritzker last week for signing Illinois House Bill 833 into law.
The bill, championed by Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi and Illinois House Assistant Majority Leader Fred Crespo, amends the Illinois Property Tax Code so that a person who has been granted a Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption in Cook County will not need to reapply for the exemption every year, as is the case now. HB 833 passed Illinois’ House and Senate in unanimous votes this past May.
“With the signing of this new law, I am pleased to see our state government speaking with one voice,” said Assessor Kaegi. “Through intergovernmental cooperation and technological modernization within our office, seniors in Cook County will no longer be burdened with the need to reaffirm their age each year.”
Seniors not currently receiving the exemption, and those who turned 65 in 2019, must apply for the senior exemption in 2020; their exemption will then automatically renew each year. Seniors exemptions currently in place will renew automatically.
State Rep. Crespo, the bill’s chief sponsor in the House, pushed for the passage of this bill. In the Senate, the bill’s chief co-sponsors were Sen. Laura Ellman and Sen. Bill Cunningham.
“While we work to deliver comprehensive solutions to middle-class families and seniors through our bipartisan Property Tax Relief Task Force, we must ensure that cost-saving exemptions are accessible to all qualifying families,” State Rep. Crespo said.
“I’m grateful to Representative Crespo for his continued advocacy on this issue,” said Assessor Kaegi. “With necessary safeguards in place to prevent fraud, our office plans a swift implementation of this bill for the hundreds of thousands of seniors who are eligible for it.”
“This new law will benefit seniors, especially those living on fixed income, by doing away with unnecessary bureaucracy and continuing to provide stable relief,” said State Rep. Crespo.
To allow for the automatic renewal of the Senior Homestead Exemption and prevent fraud in its application, the Cook County Assessor’s Office is required to conduct an audit on every Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption at least once every three years.
“There are many operational changes our office can make to serve taxpayers better,” said Assessor Kaegi. “I will continue to work with lawmakers on legislative measures that deliver on our promise to reform the property tax system in Cook County.”