County Automatically Renewing Property Tax Exemptions

Lake County today announced that it will not require homeowners to apply for homestead tax exemptions in 2020, provided they applied for and received those same exemptions in 2019. The measure applies to renewal applications for standard Homestead exemptions as well as Senior Freeze exemptions, and Disabled Persons/Disabled Veterans Homestead exemptions. Normally, residents who qualify for those exemptions need to reapply annually. 

According to a Lake County announcement issued today, Robert Glueckert, chief assessment officer for the county, will automatically approve the exemptions for the 2020 tax year, provided the following conditions are true:

  • The property owner on record for January 1, 2020 was the same property owner on January 1, 2019;
  • The exemption for the 2019 taxable year has not been determined to be an error;
  • The applicant for the 2019 taxable year has not asked for the exemption to be removed for the 2019 or 2020 taxable years. 

“So many of our Lake County residents are experiencing hardship this year because of COVID-19,” Glueckert said. “I’m pleased my office can help do its part to ease the burden by waiving the renewal application requirements for these exemptions.” 

Normally, residents who qualify for homeowner exemptions need to reapply annually. 

On June 5, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation that grants all Illinois counties the option to approve exemption renewals without applying for them for the 2020 tax year.  

In 2019, more than 10,000 properties in Lake County received the Senior Freeze Homestead Exemption, while 2,322 received the Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities, and 2,621 received the Standard Homestead Exemption for Veterans With Disabilities. 

Homeowners do not need to apply for property tax exemptions in 2020 if they received an exemption in 2019.

Lake County property owners who did not apply for or were not found eligible for homestead exemptions in 2019 may still apply for them by Oct. 1, 2020.

To qualify for the Senior Citizen Freeze Homestead Exemption, homeowners must be 65 or older, own and occupy their principal residence on Jan. 1 of the past two years and have a total household income of less than $65,000.

To qualify for the Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities, applicants must be disabled under the Federal Social Security Act (and supply documentation), own the property or have legal, equitable interest in the property, and must must have lived on the property on or before Januay 1 of the tax year.

To qualify for the Standard Homestead Exemption for Veterans With Disabilities, applicants must have served in the United States Armed Forces, The Illinois National Guard, or U.S. Reserve Forces, and have received an honorable discharge.  They must also have a total equalized assessed value (EAV) of less than $250,000 and have owned or occupied the property as a primary residence on or before Januay 1 of the tax year.

Applications can be submitted through the county’s Smartfile E-Filing Portal

For more information, or for assistance in applying for the first time, residents may contact the Chief County Assessment Office at 847-377-2050.  

By Margo Pelak

Margo Pelak is founder and managing editor of the Local Newsreader, which covers hyper-local news in Hawthorn Woods, Lake Zurich and Mundelein. She resides in Hawthorn Woods with her husband Dennis and two wild beasts named Ladybug and Juney P.