Aug
02

Governor Signs Bill to Help Illinois Homeowners

August 02, 2010

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn enacted a law on Sunday that will save Cook County residents money on property taxes and guide other Illinois homeowners through the property-tax process.

The new law extends for three years the Cook County Alternative General Homestead exemption, also known as the “7 percent solution,” which reduces the assessed value of a home by $20,000 the first year, $16,000 the second year and $12,000 the final year.

Without the bill, the tax exemption would have dropped to $6,000.

The law also creates Taxpayer Action Boards (TABs) that will oversee the way properties are assessed in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties. These boards will make sure county assessors provide homeowners with clear explanations about how tax assessments are determined.

Governor Quinn will pick seven people for the TABs; residents can apply to be on a board here.

Veterans will also benefit with this new law, which changes the current one-year $5,000 exemption to two years for Veterans who return from armed conflict. The law also makes it easier for disabled Veterans to get tax relief as it reduces the disability percentage threshold from 75 to 70 percent.

One stipulation of the new bill calls for Veterans and seniors to reapply for the Disabled Veterans’ and Senior Property Tax Exemptions each year. It had been automatic for seniors, so if those homeowners don’t file the right paperwork, they could end up with higher property tax bills.

That provision, which was opposed by Mayor Richard Daley, could be adjusted in the future.

Earlier this week, Gov. Quinn signed another bill that gives homeowners an extra month to pay their 2010 property taxes: Until April 1, 2011.

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