There are a variety of property tax exemptions available to homeowners to help reduce their tax bills. Most require that the property be residential, and be owned and occupied by the taxpayer.
There are additional exemptions for senior citizens, certain disabled individuals, certain disabled veterans, and veterans returning from active duty. The dollar amount of these exemptions changes almost yearly. Some of these require a one-time application, others must be renewed every year. Further information about these exemptions is available from the Franklin County Supervisor of Assessments.
In addition to the above, there is a tax deferral program for seniors that is administered through the Franklin County Treasurer.
The State of Illinois also has certain grants and/or reimbursements for property taxes under their Circuit Breaker program. This is administered by the Illinois Department of Revenue, and application should be made directly to them.
Shown below are the homestead exemptions administered by the Supervisor of Assessments office:
General Homestead Exemption (“owner occupied”)
This annual exemption is available for single-family residential property that is occupied as the principal dwelling place of the owner, or a lessee with a legal or equitable interest in the property and who is also liable for the payment of the property taxes on the leased property. The amount of exemption is the increase in the current year’s equalized assessed value (EAV), above the 1977 EAV, up to a maximum of $6,000.
Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption
This annual exemption is available for single-family residential property that is occupied as the principal residence of a person, who is 65 years of age or older during the assessment year. The person must be the owner, or a lessee with an ownership interest in the property who is be liable for the payment of the property taxes. The amount of the exemption is a $4,000 reduction in the EAV of the property.
Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption
This exemption allows senior citizens who have a total household maximum income of less than $55,000, and meet certain other qualifications, to elect to ‘freeze’ the assessed value of their homes at the base year assessed value and prevent any increase in that value due to inflation. The amount of the exemption benefit is determined each year based on (1) the property's current assessed value minus the frozen base year value, and (2) the applicants total household maximum income limitation. Each year applicants must file Form PTAX-340, Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption Application and Affidavit, with the supervisor of assessment’s office.
Homestead Improvement Exemption
This exempts the increase in assessed value due to the improvement of the homeowner’s property. The exemption continues for four years from the date the improvement is completed and occupied. The Homestead Improvement Exemption may be granted automatically or Form PTAX-323, Application for Homestead Improvement Exemption may be required by the supervisor of assessments office.
Disabled Persons’ Homestead Exemption
This exemption is an annual $2,000 reduction in EAV of the primary residence that is owned and occupied by a disabled person, who is liable for the payment of property taxes. Initial application Form PTAX‑343 Application for Disabled Persons’ Homestead Exemption along with the required proof of disability must be filed with the chief county assessment office. To renew the exemption, the Form PTAX-343-R, Annual Verification of Eligibility for Disabled Persons’ Homestead Exemption must be filed each year with the supervisor of assessments office. For a single tax year, the property cannot receive this exemption and the Disabled Veterans’ Homestead Exemption or Disabled Veterans’ Standard Homestead Exemption.
Disabled Veterans’ Standard Homestead Exemption
This exemption is an annual reduction in Equalized Assessed Value on the primary residence occupied by a qualified disabled veteran. The disabled veteran must own or lease a single family residence and be liable for the payment of property taxes. The amount of the exemption depends on the percentage of the service-connected disability as certified by the U. S. Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs. A disabled veteran with a disability of at least 30%, but less than 50% will receive a $2,500 reduction in Equalized Assessed Value. A disabled veteran with a disability of at least 50%, but less than 70% will receive a reduction of $5,000 in Equalized Assessed Value. A veteran with a disability of over 70% is exempt from property tax. These exemptions must be renewed each year.
Disabled Veterans’ Homestead Exemption
This exemption may be up to $70,000 of the assessed value for certain types of housing owned and used by a disabled veteran or his or her unmarried surviving spouse. The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs determines the eligibility for this exemption, which must be reestablished annually. This exemption is also available on a mobile home owned and used exclusively by a disabled veteran or their spouse. Note: the property cannot receive this exemption and the Disabled Persons’ Homestead Exemption or Disabled Veterans’ Standard Homestead Exemption simultaneously. Please contact the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs for filing this exemption.
Returning Veterans’ Homestead Exemption
This exemption is a one-time $5,000 reduction in EAV on the principal residence of a veteran upon returning from active duty in an armed conflict involving the armed forces of the United States. Although the exemption is only for a single year, a qualifying veteran can receive the exemption for another tax year in which he or she returns from active duty. Applicants must file Form PTAX‑341, Application for Returning Veterans’ Homestead Exemption, with the supervisor of assessments office.
Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program
This program allows persons 65 years of age and older, who have a total household income of less than $50,000 and meet certain other qualifications, to defer all or part of the real estate taxes and special assessments on their principal residences. The deferral is similar to a loan against the property's market value. A lien is filed on the property in order to ensure repayment of the deferral. The state pays the property taxes and then recovers the money, plus 6 percent annual interest, when the property is sold or transferred. The deferral must be repaid within one year of the taxpayer’s death or 90 days after the property ceases to qualify for this program. The maximum amount that can be deferred, including interest and lien fees, is 80 percent of the taxpayer’s equity interest in the property. To apply for real estate tax deferrals, Forms PTAX-1017-TD, Application for Deferral of Real Estate Taxes, and PTAX-1018-TD, Real Estate Tax Deferral and Recovery Agreement, must be completed. To apply for special assessment deferrals, Forms PTAX-1017-SA, Application for Deferral of Special Assessments, and PTAX-1018-SA, Special Assessments Deferral and Recovery Agreement, must be completed. Contact the Franklin County Treasurer’s office to receive the necessary forms, or further information on the program.
All but the General Homestead and Senior Homestead Exemption require annual renewal.
Illinois Department of Revenue www.revenue.state.il.us/
Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board: http://www.state.il.us/agency/ptab/