The Illinois Homestead Exemption Program

Through several different types of exemptions, this program either reduces or defers an increase in the equalized value of your property. The net effect of these exemptions is to lower the assessed valuation to which the tax rate is then applied. 
As explained below, qualifications and application procedures vary for each program. However, you must own the property to qualify for any of these exemptions and be its principal resident

General Homestead Exemption
This exemption lowers the equalized assessed value of your property by $6,000. To receive this exemption, you must have lived on the property January 1st of the tax year. The Township Assessor’s office initiates this exemption.

Home Improvement Exemption
This exemption defers for four (4) years any increase in the assessment of your property due to an addition or other improvement to your home for which the Township Assessor would add value. A maximum of $25,000 of assessed value may be deferred under this program. The Township Assessor’s office initiates this exemption.

Senior Homestead Exemption
This exemption lowers the equalized assessed value of your property by $5,000 for the tax year. This exemption may be claimed in addition to the General Homestead Exemption. To receive this exemption, you must:

  • The taxpayer must be at least 65 years of age by December 31 of the assessment year. Be sure to include a copy of your photo id (such as Driver’s License, ID Cards, Passport or other forms of ID) as proof of age.  All parties on the deed need to provide this information, even if not 65 years old
  • If the property is in a trust, we will need a copy of the Trust or a letter from the bank stating beneficial interest
  • The property must be occupied as the primary residence by the eligible taxpayer.
  • The eligible taxpayer must be liable for paying the real estate taxes on the property.
  • The eligible taxpayer must be an owner of record of the property or have a legal or equitable interest in the property as evidenced by a written instrument. In the case of a leasehold interest in property, the lease must be for a single-family residence. In the case of a life estate, the life estate must have been established by a document recorded by the McHenry County Recorder.

You can apply for the exemption at the Township Assessor’s office or the Supervisor of Assessments office located at the County Administrative Building in Woodstock. (You will need to provide proof of age with a photo copy of a Driver’s License, State ID or Passport when you apply).

Disabled Persons Exemption
Annually exempts $2,000 from assessed value for a person who has a disability that has lasted or can expect to last more than a year, rendering them unable to engage in substantial gainful activity by reason of medically determinable mental or physical impairment. The DOR is directed to prescribe form, manner, rule and regulation for administration of this exemption. Proof of eligibility for disability benefits under Social Security or an Illinois Disabled Person ID card for Class 2 disability will constitute proof of eligibility for this exemption. County office is required to mail an annual verification of eligibility that must be returned by the recipient receiving the exemption.

Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption
This exemption freezes the assessment of your home, but does not freeze the tax rate. This exemption may be claimed in addition to those described above. The actual taxes you pay may continue to increase based on the amounts levied by the taxing bodies where you reside (school districts, park districts, village/city, township, etc.). To receive this exemption, you must:

  • Have fulfilled a property residency requirement as explained on the application form
  • The taxpayer must be at least 65 years of age by December 31st of the assessment year.
  • Have a maximum household income of $65,000

This household income includes all persons using the property as their principal residence on January 1st of the tax year. All applicants are required to provide Proof of TOTAL Household Income with a copy of Page 1, 2 and Schedule 1 of the Federal Income Tax Forms (1040 or 1040A).

If not required to file a tax return, include a copy of SSA-1099 (Social Security, Pension Statements, Interest, and any Other Income) for everyone living in your home. This application cannot be processed without these documents. A taxpayer signing a fraudulent application is committing perjury as defined in the criminal code. Obtain an application for this exemption at the Supervisor of Assessments office or the Township Assessor’s office. The filing deadline for the tax year is July 1st. Your complete application must be notarized and returned to:

Supervisor of Assessments
2200 North Seminary Avenue (mailing address)
667 Ware Road, Suite 106 (location address)
Woodstock, Illinois 60098
815-334-4290

Please note that this exemption must be renewed annually.

Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program
This program is designed to allow senior citizens to defer payment of part or all of the property taxes on their home. This program functions as a loan with an annual interest charge.
Note: The filing deadline for the program is March 1st of the tax year.

For more information contact:
McHenry County Collector (Treasurer)
2100 North Seminary Avenue
Woodstock, Illinois 60098
815-334-4260

Benefit Access Program
Effective July 1, 2012, Illinois Cares Rx was terminated and the Circuit Breaker Property Tax Relief Grant was eliminated due to the lack of funding. The benefits that remain are:

  • Seniors Free Transit Ride
  • The Persons with Disabilities Free Transit Ride
  • Secretary of State License Plate Discount

To be determined eligible for these benefits, you must submit a benefit application on the Internet at www.state.il.us/aging/1rx/cbrx/cbrsforms.htmPaper applications are not available. Please contact one of the Senior Services Associates, Inc. offices in McHenry at 815-344-3555 or Crystal Lake at 815-356-7457 for assistance.

Returning Veterans Exemption 
Provides a $5,000 reduction from the assessed value of the veteran’s principal residence for two (2) consecutive assessment years, the tax year and the following year that the veteran returns from active duty in an armed conflict involving the United States.

Disabled Veterans Standard Exemption
The SHEVD (35 ILCS 200/15-169) provides an annual reduction in the equalized assessed value (EAV) of a primary residence occupied by a veteran with a disability, or the veteran's surviving spouse, on January 1 of the assessment year OR the first month following the transfer of ownership of the property to the veteran. The SHEVD amount depends on the percentage of the service-connected disability as certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs. If the veteran has a service-connected disability of 30% or more but less than 50%, then the annual exemption is $2,500; if the veteran has a service-connected disability of 50% or more but less than 70%, then the annual exemption is $5,000; and if the veteran has a service-connected disability of 70% or more, then the residential property is exempt from taxation under this Code.

To qualify for the SHEVD, the veteran must          

  •  be an Illinois resident who served as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty or state active duty, Illinois National Guard, or U.S. Reserve Forces, and who has an honorable discharge;
  •  have at least a 30 percent service-connected disability certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs; and
  • own and occupy the property as the primary residence on January 1 of the assessment year OR the first month following the transfer of ownership of the property to the veteran.

This exemption is available to the unmarried surviving spouse of a service connected veteran provided that the veteran was in receipt of the exemption prior to their death. Additionally, the unmarried surviving spouse of a service member killed in the line of duty is exempt from paying property taxes on the primary residence. Once approved, qualifying veterans and surviving spouses must file an annual application to the county’s deadlines to continue receiving this exemption. To apply for this exemption, please contact or visit McHenry County Assessment Office 815-334-4290. Current as of February 15, 2018

Disabled Veterans Exemption (Special Adapted Housing)
Under Under this program, up to $100,000 of the equalized assessed value of a home owned by a qualifying veteran or the veteran’s spouse or unmarried surviving spouse, is exempt from property taxes. Disability is such that the Federal Government has authorized payment for purchase or construction of specially adapted housing. Certification is made to DOR by US Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs, then state certified to us. Note: An applicant may not claim both this and either the new disabled person exemption or the new disabled veteran exemption.

 

Current as of March 2019

 

 

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