Tax relief program helps senior citizens struggling to pay Cook County property taxes

A program administered by the Cook County Treasurer’s Office assists senior citizens who are hard-pressed to pay their property taxes, Treasurer Maria Pappas said today.

Seniors whose annual household income is $55,000 or less can apply to the Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral Program for loans to cover property tax payments.

“With drug prices and utilities rising faster than Social Security payments, too many of our elderly are forced to make difficult choices when property taxes are due,” Pappas said. “This program is one way to ease their worries.”

The State of Illinois issues the loans, which do not have to be repaid until the property is sold or the homeowner dies. An interest rate of 6 percent per year is charged by the state. The maximum loan is $5,000 per year. To qualify, homeowners must be at least 65 years old by June 1 of the year in which the application is made.

To apply: • Download the application from cookcountytreasurer.com

• Submit the completed application and copies of the required documents to the Treasurer’s Office

• The deadline is March 1, 2020. Applications after that date cannot be accepted

• The First Installment for Tax Year 2019 is due March 3, 2020

• Homeowners must reapply every year

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