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.

Homestead 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 Homestead Limited Exemption. To receive this exemption, you must:

  • Have lived on the property on or before January 1st of the tax year
  • Have reached age 65 during the tax year
  • You can apply for the exemption at the Township Assessor’s office or the Supervisor of Assessments office located at the County building

You will need proof of age, driver’s license or birth certificate, with you when you apply. (If the property is in a trust, a copy of the trust agreement must be attached.) All parties on the deed need to provide this information.

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
  • Be age 65 or older
  • Have a maximum household income of $55,000

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 copies of Federal Income Tax Forms (1040 or 1040A) and copies of 1099 Income Statements (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.htm. Paper 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.

Disabled Veterans Exemption
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.

Returning Veterans Exemption
Exempts $5,000 from assessed value for two (2) years, being the year in which the veteran returns and the year following from an armed conflict involving the United States.

Disabled Veterans Standard Exemption
This exemption provides a reduction in a property’s EAV to a qualifying property owned by a veteran with a service connected disability. Beginning in tax year 2015, a $2,500 homestead exemption is available to a veteran with a service connected disability of at least 30% but less than 50%; a $5,000 homestead exemption is available to a veteran with a service disability of at least 50% but less than 70%; and veterans with a service connected disability of at least 70% are exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence. 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 March 8, 2016

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