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Gov. Pritzker Signs Legislation to Ease Property Tax Burdens on Illinois Residents

CHICAGO - Today, Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation that streamlines property tax relief for seniors, veterans, and persons with disabilities while also encouraging local taxing districts to lower their levy rate, opening the door for hundreds of dollars in individual property tax savings per year.

"Over the past twenty years, property taxes have skyrocketed at a rate far surpassing the increase in home values. For veterans, disabled Illinoisans, and our seniors, that can mean having to choose between basic needs—like healthcare¬¬—and losing their homes. That's unacceptable—and needs to change," said Governor JB Pritzker. "This bill expands homestead exemptions for veterans and their spouses, reduces interest rates, and allows for automatic renewal for our disabled homeowners. When I got elected, I promised to address rising property taxes for our residents. I am proud to sign this bill into law—taking another step towards easing the burden of property taxes for our most vulnerable residents."
 
"Democratic members of the House and Senate have delivered on comprehensive property tax relief and reform," said State Senator Robert Martwick (D-Chicago). "Taxpayers need to know that government is working for them. I am proud to have played a lead role in passing this measure, which during this time of so much uncertainty, ensures that all taxpayers, especially seniors and veterans are getting the relief they deserve."
"The passage of Senate Bill 1975 shows dedication by the members of the Illinois House to reduce property taxes and provide more efficiency in government," said State Representative Stephanie Kifowit (D-Oswego). "The components of this package assist widows of Veterans, individuals with disabilities, senior citizens and homeowners. In addition, this legislation reduces the red tape for our permanent and totally disabled Veterans, individuals with disabilities and seniors, along with doing our part to reduce property taxes on homeowners."

Senate Bill 1975 increases the general homestead exemption and senior citizens homestead exemption, reduces interest rates on tax deferrals for seniors, and allows for automatic renewal of the homestead exemption for qualified people with disabilities in Cook County. This legislation is effective immediately.

By allowing taxing districts subject to the Property Tax Extension Law Limit (PTELL) to levy less today without losing access to additional property tax revenues in the future, SB 1975 incentivizes taxing districts to opt for the lowest necessary property tax rate - saving property taxpayers hundreds of dollars in savings in property taxes on an annual basis.

Additionally, exemptions for those receiving the Veterans with Disabilities Exemption will auto-renew if the qualifying veteran is deemed permanently and totally disabled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This legislation also provides for the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran to continue to receive the exemption earned and applied for by the veteran.

Homestead Exemption

This bill sets maximum homestead exemptions. For tax levy year 2023, counties bordering Cook County (collar counties) are given a homestead exemption of $8,000. All other counties will have a maximum homestead exemption of $6,000. The maximum exemption for counties with 3 million or more inhabitants (Cook County), remains $10,000.

Senior Homestead Exemption

It also raises the maximum senior homestead exemption in the collar counties from $5,000 to $8,000, aligning them with Cook County's maximum exemption. In all other counties, the maximum senior homestead exemption is $5,000. Additionally, all seniors who receive SNAP or LILHEAP benefits to automatically qualify for the senior freeze and decreases the Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral program interest rate from 6% to 3%.

Building on a Record of Property Tax Relief

These new laws are the latest in a series of initiatives from the Pritzker administration to reduce the property tax burden for Illinoisans.

97 percent of Illinois tax filers will receive hundreds of dollars in property tax and income tax rebates in 2022 because of the $1 billion in tax relief Governor Pritzker signed into law in April as part of the FY23 balanced budget.

In 2019, Governor Pritzker consolidated roughly 650 downstate and suburban public safety pension funds into two - a solution that evaded governors for more than 70 years and will bring billions more in returns in the coming decades, further opening the door for lower property taxes.