Increased Senior Citizen Exemption possible on property taxes!

Legislation crafted by Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios will increase the amount of savings for the homeowners in Cook County and those who receive Senior Exemptions throughout the state.

Senate Bill 1894 passed both houses of the General Assembly last week and the legislation is expected to be signed shortly by Governor Quinn.


The homestead exemption for Cook County senior citizens would rise from $4,000 annually to $5,000, Berrios told the (Chicago Sun Times). Under the legislation, senior citizens in other parts of the state would see the same rise in their exemption, but that change won’t kick in until tax bills are sent out next year.

With the area tax rate approaching $13.00 per hundred of assessed valuation this year, an increase of $1000 in the Senior Exemption would result in a tax savings of 13.00 * $1000/100 = 130 dollars from taxes paid in 2014.

Winnebago County officials have said that with approximately 22,000 Senior Citizen Exemptions in the county, this change will reduce the tax base by $22,000,000 when/if the governor signs it.

To place this tax base decrease in context, the county has lost over 20%  of its Assessed Value over a four year period, over $917M in EAV – $2.75B in actual value, including new construction and farm increases. This Senior Exemption would add 2.4% more to the loss.

County officials say that this would be the equivalent of reducing the county’s Equalized Assessed Value by eliminating the value of Cherry Valley Mall twice and the value of Clock Tower almost three times.

Of course, the total taxes collected by the county are not necessarily reduced by that amount. Since the taxes collected may remain the same as the previous year, plus the rate of inflation under the PTELL Tax Cap laws, the rate will increase and those who didn’t receive senior exemptions or who do not file successful assessment complaints will make up the difference.

Your tax dollars for tax code 001, which includes the City of Rockford and the Rockford School District, are divided between taxing bodies as follows for taxes paid in 2012:

Rockford School District 205 – 53.84%; Rockford City – 20.68%; Winnebago County – 7.12%; Rockford Park District – 6.92%; Rock Valley Community College – 3.73%; Rockford City Library – 3.17%; with Rockford Township, Rock River Water Reclamation, Airport and Forest Preserve making up the remaining 4.5% or so.




  1. “Number of Dependents” on my 1040 Tax return just keeps going up!

  2. Brian Opsahl

    Drive on down to blackhawk island and tell me how well those poor folks you hate so much are doing….but be carefull it’s a little wet down there,and it smells like a sewer.

    By the way it’s estimated that it only cost about 100.00 bucks a year out of your tax bill for the welfare program. I wonder what that cost is for the Corporate tax welfare is…and even if you actully care about that one…..hhhmm

  3. I don’t believe anyone deserves a free life without doing something in return, if they are able bodied. The government keeps telling people they are victims…and it works! and they continue to go nowhere. I saw a guy walking down the street with a lawn mower and gas can. A good $25/hour job mowing a lawn for a retired person. Not rocket science. But why bother if the government is willing to give a person hundreds of dollars a week for doing nothing.

  4. Brian Opsahl

    Juice, your putting everybody in the same can,I have friends who are struggling in life and live off the system. Not all of them are as you describe,and again never a word about the Corporate welfare…you know what pisses me off is paying for a tax subsidy going to a Company that has billions in profits every single year.

    Why is that Juice why do you never mention them…?

  5. I don’t believe in corporate welfare either but don’t forget they are going to get whacked by Obamacare soon, and their employees, while millions of special interest groups will be exempt. You call that fair? And I don’t like the lock the unions have on Rockford affairs either, like the park district. All bids should be open to anyone and should always have multiple bids. And that long-term deal the alderman did this week should never happen. Low bidder wins and bid every two years, not ten years. Keep the costs as low as possible.

  6. Brian Opsahl

    Rockford has hugh issues and the Unions are not even on my radar,(i am an officer of one) and can tell you ever sinse Morrissy took over that city is falling apart at the seems. The roads are so bad that if you followed me on most days you would think im drunck …because of all the swerving I do to get around the pot holes that are big enough to swallow your car/truck/bus/train….!!

    I work here but I can’t wait to drive out of there every night.

  7. Yea the roads are bad. I thought it was pretty stupid to remove the toll bridge. Good money maker for the roads. Plus had to pay a lot to remove it. Stupid.

  8. Curtis Newport

    Exemptions don’t reduce taxes. They just shift the tax burden. This latest change in the Senior Citizens’ Homestead Exemption will work the same way.

    Higher exemption > lower taxable value on affected parcels > lower EAVs in affected districts > higher tax rates.

    The bottom line – Seniors will pay less. Everyone else will pay more.

    • Ted Biondo

      Curtis, did you read the third last paragraph of my post. That is exactly what I wrote about the senior exemptions going to other taxpayers. Are you simply reemphasizing what I had already written? I have also written about this issues many times in the past, letting people know that if they don’t challenge their assessments that they will pay for those who successfully challenge their assessments.

  9. Curtis Newport

    Yes I read the third paragraph, and was mostly trying to clarify.

    Other parts of your post refer to a “tax base” which is a term not found in the statutes. In this post you use the term to apparently refer to the equalized assessed valuation (EAV) which is a district’s total taxable value (after subtracting exemptions). In today’s post on the school district’s levy, you use the term “tax base” to apparently refer to the district’s aggregate extension base, which is an entirely different number.

    I don’t think we disagree about the effects of raising the Senior Homestead Exemption. It’s important to use correct terminology so as not to make a confusing process even more confusing.

    • Ted Biondo

      You are certainly correct Curtis that we don’t need to make a confusing process even more confusing. I will try to be consistent in the use of the correct terms in the future. I have to keep checking the PTELL calculations sheets or my tax bill to find the correct terms and most people don’t understand these terms to the depth that you do. Thanks for the comment.

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