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Assessor’s Office Will Not Require Renewal Applications for Senior Freeze, Disabled Persons Exemptions

Post Date:06/17/2020 10:49 AM

WOODSTOCK, Ill. – McHenry County homeowners who last year applied for and received the Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption, the Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities, and the Standard Homestead Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities, will not be required to re-apply this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Homeowners who qualify for these property tax exemptions have been required to reapply annually. However, counties now have the option of approving renewals without application for the 2020 tax year under legislation signed into law earlier this month by Governor JB Pritzker.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused hardship for everyone, and McHenry County government has been working to ease that burden wherever we can,” County Board Chairman Jack Franks, D-Marengo, said. “Automatically renewing these vital exemptions for our most vulnerable citizens is the right thing to do.”

McHenry County Chief Assessment Officer Robert Ross said homeowners who received any of the three exemptions last tax year will be automatically approved without application provided the owner of record is the same as it was in 2019, and the 2019 exemption was not found to be in error.

“I’m glad that our state lawmakers have given us the option to automatically renew these important exemptions for our seniors, our disabled homeowners and our disabled veterans,” Ross said. “We’re happy to do this for them.”

Last year, 5,903 properties in McHenry County received the Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption, 2,116 received the Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities, and 1,335 received the Standard Homestead Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities, Ross said.

Homeowners who did not apply or were found ineligible for these exemptions may still apply for 2020; the deadline for the senior freeze has been pushed back to Sept. 15, and homeowners wishing to apply for the disabled persons or disabled veterans exemption are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.

To qualify for the Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption, homeowners must be at least 65 years old, must have owned and occupied the home on Jan. 1 of the past two years, and must have a total household income of $65,000 or less.

In order to qualify for the Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities, applicants must either own or have a legal or equitable interest in the property, must supply required documentation proving disability under the Federal Social Security Act, and must have lived on the property on or before Jan. 1 of the tax year.

And to qualify for the Standard Homestead Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities, homeowners must have been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces (active, reserve or National Guard), must supply the proper documentation proving service-connected disability, mush have owned and occupied the home since Jan. 1 of the tax year, and must have a total equalized assessed value of less than $250,000.

The Assessor’s Office is currently open by appointment only because of the pandemic. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 815-334-4290.

Help is out there if you and your family are struggling because of COVID-19. Please visit the county's coronavirus resource page at www.mchenrycountyil.gov/covid19resources if you need help with food, utilities, rent, unemployment, mental health, business assistance, and other vital needs. McHenry County residents also can call 211 to talk with an agent who can refer you to the services you need.

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