Cook County Treasurer's Office - 2/19/2004
Senior homeowners have until March 1, 2004, to apply for a loan program to defer their Cook County property taxes as long as they live in their homes, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas said today.
Pappas' office manages Senior Citizen Tax Deferral, a program for seniors whose household income does not exceed $40,000 a year. A 6 percent, simple-interest loan allows qualifying seniors to pay their property taxes. The state loan is repaid when the home is sold or the owner dies.
"Senior citizens who want to stay in their homes can do so and ease pressure on their own budgets," Pappas said. "March 1 is the application deadline to possibly avoid taxes for this year."
Along with the $40,000 household income limit, basic provisions include:
- At least one spouse is 65 as of June 1 in year a deferral is claimed.
- A surviving spouse is 55 within six months of the other's death.
- The applicant has lived in the home for at least three years.
- Up to 100 percent of the taxes can be deferred as long as that total amount does not exceed 80 percent of the home's market value.
- The home is insured and has no liens, and all taxes are paid.
- Applications are renewed yearly.
Applications are available at www.cookcountytreasurer.com, at the Treasurer's Legal Department, Room 222, Cook County Building, 118 N. Clark St., Chicago, or by phone at 312.603.5783.
Applicants must show proofs of age and ownership of the home, and the last real estate bill received. If an application is denied, it can be applied for in the next year.
Postmarks on envelopes mailed to the Treasurer's Office must be no later than March 1, 2004.