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92_HB5745 LRB9212973SMdv 1 AN ACT concerning taxes. 2 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, 3 represented in the General Assembly: 4 Section 5. The Property Tax Code is amended by changing 5 Section 15-172 as follows: 6 (35 ILCS 200/15-172) 7 Sec. 15-172. Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead 8 Exemption. 9 (a) This Section may be cited as the Senior Citizens 10 Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption. 11 (b) As used in this Section: 12 "Applicant" means an individual who has filed an 13 application under this Section. 14 "Base amount" means the base year equalized assessed 15 value of the residence plus the first year's equalized 16 assessed value of any added improvements which increased the 17 assessed value of the residence after the base year. 18 "Base year" means the taxable year prior to the taxable 19 year for which the applicant first qualifies and applies for 20 the exemption provided that in the prior taxable year the 21 property was improved with a permanent structure that was 22 occupied as a residence by the applicant who was liable for 23 paying real property taxes on the property and who was either 24 (i) an owner of record of the property or had legal or 25 equitable interest in the property as evidenced by a written 26 instrument or (ii) had a legal or equitable interest as a 27 lessee in the parcel of property that was single family 28 residence. If in any subsequent taxable year for which the 29 applicant applies and qualifies for the exemption the 30 equalized assessed value of the residence is less than the 31 equalized assessed value in the existing base year (provided -2- LRB9212973SMdv 1 that such equalized assessed value is not based on an 2 assessed value that results from a temporary irregularity in 3 the property that reduces the assessed value for one or more 4 taxable years), then that subsequent taxable year shall 5 become the base year until a new base year is established 6 under the terms of this paragraph. For taxable year 1999 7 only, the Chief County Assessment Officer shall review (i) 8 all taxable years for which the applicant applied and 9 qualified for the exemption and (ii) the existing base year. 10 The assessment officer shall select as the new base year the 11 year with the lowest equalized assessed value. An equalized 12 assessed value that is based on an assessed value that 13 results from a temporary irregularity in the property that 14 reduces the assessed value for one or more taxable years 15 shall not be considered the lowest equalized assessed value. 16 The selected year shall be the base year for taxable year 17 1999 and thereafter until a new base year is established 18 under the terms of this paragraph. 19 "Chief County Assessment Officer" means the County 20 Assessor or Supervisor of Assessments of the county in which 21 the property is located. 22 "Equalized assessed value" means the assessed value as 23 equalized by the Illinois Department of Revenue. 24 "Household" means the applicant, the spouse of the 25 applicant, and all persons using the residence of the 26 applicant as their principal place of residence. 27 "Household income" means the combined income of the 28 members of a household for the calendar year preceding the 29 taxable year. 30 "Income" has the same meaning as provided in Section 3.07 31 of the Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons Property Tax 32 Relief and Pharmaceutical Assistance Act, except that, 33 beginning in assessment year 2001, "income" does not include 34 veteran's benefits. -3- LRB9212973SMdv 1 "Internal Revenue Code of 1986" means the United States 2 Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or any successor law or laws 3 relating to federal income taxes in effect for the year 4 preceding the taxable year. 5 "Life care facility that qualifies as a cooperative" 6 means a facility as defined in Section 2 of the Life Care 7 Facilities Act. 8 "Residence" means the principal dwelling place and 9 appurtenant structures used for residential purposes in this 10 State occupied on January 1 of the taxable year by a 11 household and so much of the surrounding land, constituting 12 the parcel upon which the dwelling place is situated, as is 13 used for residential purposes. If the Chief County Assessment 14 Officer has established a specific legal description for a 15 portion of property constituting the residence, then that 16 portion of property shall be deemed the residence for the 17 purposes of this Section. 18 "Taxable year" means the calendar year during which ad 19 valorem property taxes payable in the next succeeding year 20 are levied. 21 (c) Beginning in taxable year 1994, a senior citizens 22 assessment freeze homestead exemption is granted for real 23 property that is improved with a permanent structure that is 24 occupied as a residence by an applicant who (i) is 65 years 25 of age or older during the taxable year, (ii) has a household 26 income of $35,000 or less prior to taxable year 1999 or 27 $40,000 or less in taxable year 1999 and thereafter, (iii) is 28 liable for paying real property taxes on the property, and 29 (iv) is an owner of record of the property or has a legal or 30 equitable interest in the property as evidenced by a written 31 instrument. This homestead exemption shall also apply to a 32 leasehold interest in a parcel of property improved with a 33 permanent structure that is a single family residence that is 34 occupied as a residence by a person who (i) is 65 years of -4- LRB9212973SMdv 1 age or older during the taxable year, (ii) has a household 2 income of $35,000 or less prior to taxable year 1999 or 3 $40,000 or less in taxable year 1999 and thereafter, (iii) 4 has a legal or equitable ownership interest in the property 5 as lessee, and (iv) is liable for the payment of real 6 property taxes on that property. 7 The amount of this exemption shall be the equalized 8 assessed value of the residence in the taxable year for which 9 application is made minus the base amount. 10 When the applicant is a surviving spouse of an applicant 11 for a prior year for the same residence for which an 12 exemption under this Section has been granted, the base year 13 and base amount for that residence are the same as for the 14 applicant for the prior year. 15 Each year at the time the assessment books are certified 16 to the County Clerk, the Board of Review or Board of Appeals 17 shall give to the County Clerk a list of the assessed values 18 of improvements on each parcel qualifying for this exemption 19 that were added after the base year for this parcel and that 20 increased the assessed value of the property. 21 In the case of land improved with an apartment building 22 owned and operated as a cooperative or a building that is a 23 life care facility that qualifies as a cooperative, the 24 maximum reduction from the equalized assessed value of the 25 property is limited to the sum of the reductions calculated 26 for each unit occupied as a residence by a person or persons 27 65 years of age or older with a household income of $35,000 28 or less prior to taxable year 1999 or $40,000 or less in 29 taxable year 1999 and thereafter who is liable, by contract 30 with the owner or owners of record, for paying real property 31 taxes on the property and who is an owner of record of a 32 legal or equitable interest in the cooperative apartment 33 building, other than a leasehold interest. In the instance of 34 a cooperative where a homestead exemption has been granted -5- LRB9212973SMdv 1 under this Section, the cooperative association or its 2 management firm shall credit the savings resulting from that 3 exemption only to the apportioned tax liability of the owner 4 who qualified for the exemption. Any person who willfully 5 refuses to credit that savings to an owner who qualifies for 6 the exemption is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. 7 When a homestead exemption has been granted under this 8 Section and an applicant then becomes a resident of a 9 facility licensed under the Nursing Home Care Act, the 10 exemption shall be granted in subsequent years so long as the 11 residence (i) continues to be occupied by the qualified 12 applicant's spouse or (ii) if remaining unoccupied, is still 13 owned by the qualified applicant for the homestead exemption. 14 Beginning January 1, 1997, when an individual dies who 15 would have qualified for an exemption under this Section, and 16 the surviving spouse does not independently qualify for this 17 exemption because of age, the exemption under this Section 18 shall be granted to the surviving spouse for the taxable year 19 preceding and the taxable year of the death, provided that, 20 except for age, the surviving spouse meets all other 21 qualifications for the granting of this exemption for those 22 years. 23 When married persons maintain separate residences, the 24 exemption provided for in this Section may be claimed by only 25 one of such persons and for only one residence. 26 For taxable year 1994 only, in counties having less than 27 3,000,000 inhabitants, to receive the exemption, a person 28 shall submit an application by February 15, 1995 to the Chief 29 County Assessment Officer of the county in which the property 30 is located. In counties having 3,000,000 or more 31 inhabitants, for taxable year 1994 and all subsequent taxable 32 years, to receive the exemption, a person may submit an 33 application to the Chief County Assessment Officer of the 34 county in which the property is located during such period as -6- LRB9212973SMdv 1 may be specified by the Chief County Assessment Officer. The 2 Chief County Assessment Officer in counties of 3,000,000 or 3 more inhabitants shall annually give notice of the 4 application period by mail or by publication. In counties 5 having less than 3,000,000 inhabitants, beginning with 6 taxable year 1995 and thereafter, to receive the exemption, a 7 person shall submit an application by July 1 of each taxable 8 year to the Chief County Assessment Officer of the county in 9 which the property is located. A county may, by ordinance, 10 establish a date for submission of applications that is 11 different than July 1. The applicant shall submit with the 12 application an affidavit of the applicant's total household 13 income, age, marital status (and if married the name and 14 address of the applicant's spouse, if known), and principal 15 dwelling place of members of the household on January 1 of 16 the taxable year. The Department shall establish, by rule, a 17 method for verifying the accuracy of affidavits filed by 18 applicants under this Section. The applications shall be 19 clearly marked as applications for the Senior Citizens 20 Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption. 21 Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, for 22 taxable year 2003 and thereafter, if a person (i) was granted 23 an exemption under this Section in the immediately prior 24 taxable year and (ii) has submitted proof to the Chief County 25 Assessment Officer that a member of that person's household 26 is, or will be during the taxable year, 75 years of age or 27 older, the person must be granted an exemption under this 28 Section for the current taxable year without having to file 29 an application. If, however, the Chief County Assessment 30 Officer has reasonable grounds for belief that the person is 31 not eligible for the exemption under this Section for the 32 taxable year, the Chief County Assessment Officer may require 33 the person to file an application in accordance with this 34 Section. -7- LRB9212973SMdv 1 Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, in 2 counties having fewer than 3,000,000 inhabitants, if an 3 applicant fails to file the application required by this 4 Section in a timely manner and this failure to file is due to 5 a mental or physical condition sufficiently severe so as to 6 render the applicant incapable of filing the application in a 7 timely manner, the Chief County Assessment Officer may extend 8 the filing deadline for a period of 30 days after the 9 applicant regains the capability to file the application, but 10 in no case may the filing deadline be extended beyond 3 11 months of the original filing deadline. In order to receive 12 the extension provided in this paragraph, the applicant shall 13 provide the Chief County Assessment Officer with a signed 14 statement from the applicant's physician stating the nature 15 and extent of the condition, that, in the physician's 16 opinion, the condition was so severe that it rendered the 17 applicant incapable of filing the application in a timely 18 manner, and the date on which the person regained the 19 capability to file the application. 20 Beginning January 1, 1998, notwithstanding any other 21 provision to the contrary, in counties having fewer than 22 3,000,000 inhabitants, if an applicant fails to file the 23 application required by this Section in a timely manner and 24 this failure to file is due to a mental or physical condition 25 sufficiently severe so as to render the applicant incapable 26 of filing the application in a timely manner, the Chief 27 County Assessment Officer may extend the filing deadline for 28 a period of 3 months. In order to receive the extension 29 provided in this paragraph, the applicant shall provide the 30 Chief County Assessment Officer with a signed statement from 31 the applicant's physician stating the nature and extent of 32 the condition, and that, in the physician's opinion, the 33 condition was so severe that it rendered the applicant 34 incapable of filing the application in a timely manner. -8- LRB9212973SMdv 1 In counties having less than 3,000,000 inhabitants, if an 2 applicant was denied an exemption in taxable year 1994 and 3 the denial occurred due to an error on the part of an 4 assessment official, or his or her agent or employee, then 5 beginning in taxable year 1997 the applicant's base year, for 6 purposes of determining the amount of the exemption, shall be 7 1993 rather than 1994. In addition, in taxable year 1997, the 8 applicant's exemption shall also include an amount equal to 9 (i) the amount of any exemption denied to the applicant in 10 taxable year 1995 as a result of using 1994, rather than 11 1993, as the base year, (ii) the amount of any exemption 12 denied to the applicant in taxable year 1996 as a result of 13 using 1994, rather than 1993, as the base year, and (iii) the 14 amount of the exemption erroneously denied for taxable year 15 1994. 16 For purposes of this Section, a person who will be 65 17 years of age during the current taxable year shall be 18 eligible to apply for the homestead exemption during that 19 taxable year. Application shall be made during the 20 application period in effect for the county of his or her 21 residence. 22 The Chief County Assessment Officer may determine the 23 eligibility of a life care facility that qualifies as a 24 cooperative to receive the benefits provided by this Section 25 by use of an affidavit, application, visual inspection, 26 questionnaire, or other reasonable method in order to insure 27 that the tax savings resulting from the exemption are 28 credited by the management firm to the apportioned tax 29 liability of each qualifying resident. The Chief County 30 Assessment Officer may request reasonable proof that the 31 management firm has so credited that exemption. 32 Except as provided in this Section, all information 33 received by the chief county assessment officer or the 34 Department from applications filed under this Section, or -9- LRB9212973SMdv 1 from any investigation conducted under the provisions of this 2 Section, shall be confidential, except for official purposes 3 or pursuant to official procedures for collection of any 4 State or local tax or enforcement of any civil or criminal 5 penalty or sanction imposed by this Act or by any statute or 6 ordinance imposing a State or local tax. Any person who 7 divulges any such information in any manner, except in 8 accordance with a proper judicial order, is guilty of a Class 9 A misdemeanor. 10 Nothing contained in this Section shall prevent the 11 Director or chief county assessment officer from publishing 12 or making available reasonable statistics concerning the 13 operation of the exemption contained in this Section in which 14 the contents of claims are grouped into aggregates in such a 15 way that information contained in any individual claim shall 16 not be disclosed. 17 (d) Each Chief County Assessment Officer shall annually 18 publish a notice of availability of the exemption provided 19 under this Section. The notice shall be published at least 20 60 days but no more than 75 days prior to the date on which 21 the application must be submitted to the Chief County 22 Assessment Officer of the county in which the property is 23 located. The notice shall appear in a newspaper of general 24 circulation in the county. 25 (Source: P.A. 90-14, eff. 7-1-97; 90-204, eff. 7-25-97; 26 90-523, eff. 11-13-97; 90-524, eff. 1-1-98; 90-531, eff. 27 1-1-98; 90-655, eff. 7-30-98; 91-45, eff. 6-30-99; 91-56, 28 eff. 6-30-99; 91-819, eff. 6-13-00.) 29 Section 90. The State Mandates Act is amended by adding 30 Section 8.26 as follows: 31 (30 ILCS 805/8.26 new) 32 Sec. 8.26. Exempt mandate. Notwithstanding Sections 6 -10- LRB9212973SMdv 1 and 8 of this Act, no reimbursement by the State is required 2 for the implementation of any mandate created by this 3 amendatory Act of the 92nd General Assembly. 4 Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon 5 becoming law.
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