Exemptions: Tax Relief & Incentive Programs

Property assessment exemptions are two fold. First, they are intended to provide tax relief and second, to act as incentives for improving your property. Exemptions are available for owner-occupied properties, senior citizens, disabled veterans & non-veterans, those making improvements to their owner-occupied homes, and for religious, non-profit or charitable organizations. For additional information on exemptions, please contact the Winnebago County Supervisor of Assessments
at (815) 319-4460.

OWNER-OCCUPIED EXEMPTION

The exemption is $6,000. 

This is an exemption for individuals who own and occupy their property as their principal dwelling place as of January 1st.  It will remain with the homeowner until there is a change in use or a transfer of ownership at which time the new owner must reapply for the following year.  It reduces the equalized assessed value by the above of the difference between the current year equalized assessed value and the 1977 equalized assessed value.

To obtain this exemption, you must file an application with the Supervisor of Assessments Office located at 404 Elm Street, Rockford IL 61101, (815) 319-4460.

HOMESTEAD IMPROVEMENT EXEMPTION - Back to Top

This exemption reduces the Board of Review assessed value by the amount of increase in assessed value due to improvements added to an existing structure. It is available for single family dwellings used as a primary residence. This exemption encourages the expansion and improvement of homes by exempting up to $25,000 in assessment increase for that addition for four (4) years from the date of completion. For information on how to obtain this exemption, contact the Supervisor of Assessments Office located at 404 Elm Street, Rockford IL 61101, (815) 319-4460.

 

SENIOR CITIZEN HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - Back to Top

The exemption is $5,000.

Who is eligible?


To qualify you must:

  • Be age 65 or older any time in the assessment year for which the application is made.
  • Own and occupy the property during the application year.
  • Be liable for the payment of real estate taxes on the property.

How to apply


Eligible senior taxpayers must complete an application by December 1st, supply proof of age and verify property ownership. Applications and guidelines are available from the Supervisor of Assessments located at 404 Elm Street, Rockford IL 61101, (815) 319-4460.  Annual blue renewal (status) cards are sent to qualified taxpayers each year and should be returned before May 1st to the Supervisor of Assessments Office to confirm continuing eligibility.

What benefits does this exemption provide?


The Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption provides a reduction from the equalized assessed valuation. The Owner Occupied Exemption is automatically granted with this Senior Citizen Exemption and provides an additional reduction from the equalized assessed value.

 

SENIOR CITIZEN ASSESSMENT FREEZE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - Back to Top

The household income cannot exceed $55,000.

Who is eligible?


To qualify you must:
  • Establish age, ownership and residency by applying for the Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption.
  • Have a total household income (before deductions) of less than $50,000. This includes all taxable and non-taxable income for each person who lives in the home. .
  • Own and occupy the property on January 1st of the application year and the prior year.
  • Be liable for payment of real estate taxes on the property. In some cases, the surviving spouse of an eligible senior citizen may qualify.

How to apply


Eligible senior taxpayers must complete an application affidavit (pink PTAX 340 form). This form must be signed and notarized. Income from all household members needs to be itemized and totaled for the year prior to the application year. All information acquired from the application is confidential and may be used only for official purposes. This exemption must be filed for every year by the July 1st deadline. Applications are mailed by the Supervisor of Assessments to those senior taxpayers receiving a blue Senior Citizen renewal form.

What benefits does this exemption provide?


The Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption provides seniors with limited income protection against real estate tax increases due to rising property values. It is not a tax freeze or a tax reduction and does not protect against increased taxes due to tax rate increases. Because this exemption provides for a base year frozen assessment, it will potentially provide increased savings each year a senior is eligible.

If a senior citizen no longer qualifies for the Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption, taxes will then be based on the current “non-freeze” property assessment. 

 

SENIOR CITIZEN REAL ESTATE TAX DEFERRAL PROGRAM - Back to Top

Who is eligible?


To qualify you must:
  • Be age 65 or older by June 1st of the year for which the application is made.
  • Have a total household income of less than the maximum allowable limit.
  • Own and occupy the property.
  • Have lived in the property or other qualifying property at least 3 years.
  • Be liable for payment of real estate taxes on the property.
  • Have no delinquent real estate taxes.
  • File an application by March 1st.

How to apply


Application and guidelines are available from the Winnebago County Treasurer, 404 Elm Street, Room 205, Rockford, IL  61101. Phone: (815) 319-4400

What benefits does this program provide?


This program allows a qualifying senior to defer payment of real estate taxes on his or her personal residence. During the deferment period, the State of Illinois pays the real estate taxes. Then when the senior sells the property or within a year of his or her death, repayment plus an interest payment calculated at 6% annually is made.

 

RETURNING VETERANS’ HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - Back to Top

This exemption provides a one-time $5,000 reduction in a property’s assessed value to qualifying veterans who return from active duty in an armed conflict involving the armed forces of the United States. To receive this exemption, the veteran must file an application upon their return home. For additional information, please contact the Winnebago County Supervisor of Assessments at (815) 319-4460.

 

DISABLED VETERANS’ EXEMPTION - Back to Top

The Disabled Veterans’ Standard Homestead Exemption (35 ILCS 200/15-169) provides a reduction in a property’s EAV for a veteran with a service-connected disability. If a veteran is disabled 30% or more but less than 50%, then the annual exemption is $2500; a disability of 50% or more but less than 70%, will be granted an exemption of $5000; and a disability of 70% or more, will result in the property being exempt from taxation under this code. Initial applications require proof and percentage of disability, as certified by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and are renewed annually. The exemption is for Owner Occupied homes only and can be granted to “un-remarried surviving spouses.” For additional information, please contact the Winnebago County Supervisor of Assessments at (815) 319-4460.


The Disabled Veterans' Homestead Exemption may be up to $70,000 of the assessed value for certain types of housing owned and used by a disabled veteran or his or her unmarried surviving spouse. The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs determines the eligibility for this exemption, which must be reestablished annually. This exemption is also available on a mobile home owned and used exclusively by a disabled veteran or their spouse.  For a single tax year, the property cannot receive this exemption and the Disabled Persons’ Homestead Exemption or Disabled Veterans’ Standard Homestead Exemption. For additional information, please contact the Winnebago County Supervisor of Assessments at (815) 319-4460.


A disabled veteran must file an annual application by the county’s due date to continue to receive this exemption.  For additional information, please contact the Winnebago County Supervisor of Assessments at (815) 319-4460.

 

DISABLED PERSONS’ HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION - Back to Top

This exemption provides a $2,000 reduction in a property’s assess value to a qualifying property owned by a disabled person.  A disabled person must file an annual application by the Winnebago County’s due date in order to continue to receive the exemption.  For information on applying, please contact the Winnebago Supervisor of Assessments Office at (815) 319-4460. 

 

NON-HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONS FOR RELIGIOUS, CHARITABLE, OR EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS - Back to Top

Properties of religious, charitable, and educational organizations, as well as units of federal, state and local governments, are eligible for exemption from property taxes to the extent provided by law. The organization must apply for exemption to the Winnebago County Board of Review which reviews the application and forwards it to the Illinois Department of Revenue for the final administrative decision. For additional information, please contact the Winnebago County Supervisor of Assessments at (815) 319-4460.

 

ILLINOIS CIRCUIT BREAKER - Back to Top

The Illinois Circuit Breaker program provides a state grant to assist in paying property taxes.

Who is eligible?


To qualify you must be a renter or homeowner who is:
  • 65 years of age and older
  • 16 years or older and disabled
  • 63 or 64 years of age and recently widowed
  • AND whose income is less than the maximum limit per 1, 2, or 3 person households.

 

How to apply


For assistance with this grant please contact:
  • Lifescape at (815) 963-1609
  • NIAAA at (815) 226-4901
  • The Illinois Department of Revenue at (800) 624-2459
  • You may also contact local offices of the area's elected state representatives and senators.
  • The deadline for filing is December 31 of the assessment year.