Bigger Property Tax Exemptions Do Not Always Bring Savings

Cook County Property Tax Exemption ChangesWhile some Cook County residents could see savings as the result of recently expanded property tax exemptions for homeowners and seniors, anything that comes out of the tax base on one side of the equation, generally has to be added back in on the other.

Bigger is not always better…

New Cook County Property Tax Exemptions

The new exemptions, which will show up on next summer’s 2nd installment property tax bills, increase the homeowner exemption EAV to $10,000 from $7,000 and increase the senior exemption EAV to $8,000 from $5,000. The new law also increases the total household income of seniors eligible for a tax rate freeze to $65,000, up from $55,000.

But unless the various agencies whose levies make up the tax bills are willing to do without the funds the expanded exemptions wipe out, tax rates for those that do not qualify for these exemptions have to rise to cover the difference. Depending on the assessed value of their property after all eligible exemptions are applied, an increase in the tax rate could end up costing many homeowners more.

With budget pressures – especially increasing pension costs – unlikely to ease up anytime soon, few people would bet on seeing levies reduced to pay for the increase in exemptions.

What Can You Do?

As always, the best way to protect yourself from paying more than your fair share of property taxes is to appeal your property taxes. If you don’t appeal, any savings you might see as the result of a bigger homeowner exemption could be erased by higher tax rates.

Call us for a no-cost assessment of your property tax situation. If we don’t see an opportunity for significant savings for you, we won’t recommend an appeal. Take advantage of our expertise and make sure you’re not paying more than you should be.

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