SPRINGFIELD — In an effort to provide relief and flexibility to property tax owners, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) voted in favor of a measure that will defer tax sales and give counties the ability to extend homestead exemptions and waive late fees.

“Property taxes can often be a financial burden to many, but even more so because of the public health crisis,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “These measures will provide some relief to our residents.” 

The measure gives county assessment officers the ability to approve homestead exemptions without 2020 applications for residents with disabilities, veterans with disabilities and senior citizens who qualify for assessment freezes.

Under this legislation, local businesses and residents would see property tax relief in the form of:

  • Empowering county governments to approve 2020 homestead exemptions for those with disabilities, veterans with disabilities and senior citizens, as long as the property had been granted this exemption for 2019;
  • Allowing counties with less than 3 million residents to waive interest penalties and fees for late property tax payments due in 2020;
  • Deferred property tax sales for all counties except Cook.

County assessment officers can still conduct audits of taxpayers claiming an exemption in order to verify the applicant is eligible to receive the senior citizen’s assessment freeze through the homestead exemption.

Senate Bill 685 also defers tax sales and gives the county the authority to waive property tax interest penalties.

The measure passed both chambers and awaits final approval from the governor. 

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