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Berrios: Seniors May Be Missing Out On Property Tax Savings

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Cook County seniors who own homes are advised to read their property tax bills carefully, because officials say homeowners could be missing an extra chance to save serious money.

As WBBM Newsradio's David Roe reports, Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios sent out about 300,000 applications for Senior Citizen and Senior Freeze tax exemptions, but 55,000 seniors did not respond – even after a repeat mailing.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio's David Roe reports


This means they could wind out missing out on tax relief, because a new Illinois state law requires seniors to reapply annually for the Senior Citizen exemption.

"We encourage everyone who receives a bill next week to please look at the bill, check the bill, because if you pay it, and find out later, it's going to take you 90 days to get the money back," Berrios said Tuesday.

Noting that mailings to seniors about the requirement cost his office $250,000, Berrios also said he plans to work with the Illinois General Assembly to get the new law overturned.

The Senior Citizen exemption reduces the equalized assessed valuation of homes owned by senior citizens, and provides a deduction in the second-installment property tax bill.

For more information on qualifications for the Senior Citizen Exemption and other exemptions, click here, or call (312) 443-7550.

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