Qualified seniors can now defer a maximum of $5,000 of property taxes per tax year (this includes both 1st and 2nd installments) on their primary home. The relief, structured in the form of a loan, is from the State of Illinois and is paid when the property is sold, or upon the death of the participant.
Participants must be at least 65 years old by June 1 and have a household income of $55,000 or less. Qualified participants must also own and occupy the property for which they are applying for the last three years, and must not have any outstanding property taxes or special assessments.
Applications are available at the Cook County Treasurer's Office in downtown Chicago and online. Applications, along with photocopies of required documents are due no later than March 1. There will be no extensions.
A maximum of $5,000 can be deferred annually. Written approval from a mortgage lender is not required in order to qualify for the program, though participants should advise their mortgage lender of the intention to participate in the program and confirm that participation will not violate any terms of the mortgage agreement. Simple interest of 6% per year is payable upon death, or at the time the home is transferred to a new owner. This can also be paid off sooner if the participant chooses to pay off the senior-deferral loan.