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Homestead Exemption Reform Passed!

Homestead Exemption Reform Passed!

Paula Raila’s April Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) Journal commentary cites mounting problems with “Erroneous” Homestead Exemptions and calls for support for SB 780. This bill passed with unanimous support in the legislature. It facilitates tax bill accuracy and informed exemption choices by new owners of residential property. The governor signed off and made it law.

The key issue is that the 2013 Erroneous Exemption Law allowed the Cook County Assessor to back tax, up to 6 years, property owners who have erroneous exemptions.. The Assessor’s fines can come with steep penalties, 10% interests rates and liens—even if a property owner never applied for an exemption or if the Assessor’s Office, itself, failed to remove an exemption.

Senate Bill 780, supported by both the ISBA and the Chicago Bar Association (CBA), was subsequently designed to address these issues, requiring that an exemption application be made with all new residential sales and transfers, and requiring that the county assessor remove old exemptions after the end of the sale year.

Read the Commentary >

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