Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios announced on Feb. 7 that his office has extended the deadline for filing renewal applications for the Senior Citizen Exemption and Senior Freeze Exemption for the 2017 tax year. The new deadline has been charged from Feb. 7 to March 2.

In a statement, officials with the assessor’s office said that more than 270,000 applications were “mailed in early January to seniors who received the exemptions last year.”

“I extended the deadline so all seniors have extra time to return their applications to ensure they receive the expanded exemption savings this year,” Berrios said in the statement. 

“It is also important to remember that under Illinois law, seniors are required to reapply annually for both the Senior and Senior Freeze Exemptions.”

To qualify for the Senior Citizen Exemption for Tax Year 2017, the property owner must have:

Been born prior to or in the year 1952,

Owned the property, or have a lease or contract which makes them responsible for the real estate taxes, and

Used the property as a principal place of residence.

Been responsible for the payment of 2016 and 2017 property taxes.

A new state law establishes the eligible household income level for receiving the exemption at $65,000, from the previous $55,000 limit.

In addition, a new minimum $2,000 estimated assessed valuation deduction for the senior freeze has been set to “help offset increases in assessed value and help ensure that more seniors benefit from the Senior Exemption,” assessor officials said.

Berrios said that if people exceed the income limits for the senior freeze exemption, they can still qualify for the senior exemption. Seniors who receive the senior citizen exemption automatically receive the homeowner exemption, while senior citizens who receiving the senior freeze automatically receive both the homeowner and senior citizen exemptions, assessor officials said in the statement.

“Eligible seniors, who have never applied for the Senior and/or Senior Freeze Exemptions in the past, may visit the Assessor’s web site at and download an application or contact the Assessor’s Office at 312-443-7550 and request a form be mailed to them,” the statement reads.

“Applications for the Homeowner Exemption and additional exemptions administered by the Assessor’s Office will also be made available on line.”

— Michael Romain