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Cook County Seniors Urged to File for Property Tax Breaks

The Cook County Assessor's Office recently mailed a reminder to county senior citizens to file for 2012 property tax breaks. Forms must be completed and mailed to the Assessor's Office by Wednesday, Feb. 6.

By Jeff Graveline

Senior citizens in Cook County eligible for property tax exemptions have until Wednesday, Feb. 6, to file the proper paperwork to receive their tax break, according to a mailing sent out by the Cook County Assessor's Office.

Residents over the age of 65 should have received the mailing in early January, but residents who just turned 65 may not have gotten them yet, according to an email from the office.

“Taxpayers who recently turned 65 will not receive application forms when the senior renewal forms are mailed,” Orland Park Assessor Richard E. Kelly said. “I encourage such individuals to call my office to obtain the forms and information necessary to receive the senior benefits."

Kelly said the forms are also available online at www.CookCountyAssessor.com

The applications are for 2012 property taxes, which are to be paid in 2013. The savings will be shown on the second installment of tax bills set to be mailed in July of this year.

All homeowners born before 1947 are eligible for the Senior Exemption, regardless of income, which reduces property taxes by about $330. Some homeowners born before 1947 will also be eligible for a second tax break, the Senior Freeze.

The Senior Freeze is available for any senior citizen who's lived in and owned their home since Jan. 1, 2011 and has a combined household income of less that $55,000.

The law for senior renewal of these two tax breaks was changed in 2011, forcing seniors to refile for the breaks every year. Prior to the change, seniors only filled out the form once they turned 65 and the breaks were renewed annually, when applicable.

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