(320 ILCS 30/3) (from Ch. 67 1/2, par. 453)
    Sec. 3. A taxpayer may, on or before March 1 of each year, apply to the county collector of the county where his qualifying property is located, or to the official designated by a unit of local government to collect special assessments on the qualifying property, as the case may be, for a deferral of all or a part of real estate taxes payable during that year for the preceding year in the case of real estate taxes other than special assessments, or for a deferral of any installments payable during that year in the case of special assessments, on all or part of his qualifying property. The application shall be on a form prescribed by the Department and furnished by the collector, (a) showing that the applicant will be 65 years of age or older by June 1 of the year for which a tax deferral is claimed, (b) describing the property and verifying that the property is qualifying property as defined in Section 2, (c) certifying that the taxpayer has owned and occupied as his residence such property or other qualifying property in the State for at least the last 3 years except for any periods during which the taxpayer may have temporarily resided in a nursing or sheltered care home, and (d) specifying whether the deferral is for all or a part of the taxes, and, if for a part, the amount of deferral applied for. As to qualifying property not having a separate assessed valuation, the taxpayer shall also file with the county collector a written appraisal of the property prepared by a qualified real estate appraiser together with a certificate signed by the appraiser stating that he has personally examined the property and setting forth the value of the land and the value of the buildings thereon occupied by the taxpayer as his residence.
    The collector shall grant the tax deferral provided such deferral does not exceed funds available in the Senior Citizens Real Estate Deferred Tax Revolving Fund and provided that the owner or owners of such real property have entered into a tax deferral and recovery agreement with the collector on behalf of the county or other unit of local government, which agreement expressly states:
    (1) That the total amount of taxes deferred under this Act, plus interest, for the year for which a tax deferral is claimed as well as for those previous years for which taxes are not delinquent and for which such deferral has been claimed may not exceed 80% of the taxpayer's equity interest in the property for which taxes are to be deferred and that, if the total deferred taxes plus interest equals 80% of the taxpayer's equity interest in the property, the taxpayer shall thereafter pay the annual interest due on such deferred taxes plus interest so that total deferred taxes plus interest will not exceed such 80% of the taxpayer's equity interest in the property. Effective as of the January 1, 2011 assessment year or tax year 2012 and thereafter, the total amount of any such deferral shall not exceed $5,000 per taxpayer in each tax year.
    (2) That any real estate taxes deferred under this Act and any interest accrued thereon at the rate of 6% per year are a lien on the real estate and improvements thereon until paid. No sale or transfer of such real property may be legally closed and recorded until the taxes which would otherwise have been due on the property, plus accrued interest, have been paid unless the collector certifies in writing that an arrangement for prompt payment of the amount due has been made with his office. The same shall apply if the property is to be made the subject of a contract of sale.
    (3) That upon the death of the taxpayer claiming the deferral the heirs-at-law, assignees or legatees shall have first priority to the real property upon which taxes have been deferred by paying in full the total taxes which would otherwise have been due, plus interest. However, if such heir-at-law, assignee, or legatee is a surviving spouse, the tax deferred status of the property shall be continued during the life of that surviving spouse if the spouse is 55 years of age or older within 6 months of the date of death of the taxpayer and enters into a tax deferral and recovery agreement before the time when deferred taxes become due under this Section. Any additional taxes deferred, plus interest, on the real property under a tax deferral and recovery agreement signed by a surviving spouse shall be added to the taxes and interest which would otherwise have been due, and the payment of which has been postponed during the life of such surviving spouse, in determining the 80% equity requirement provided by this Section.
    (4) That if the taxes due, plus interest, are not paid by the heir-at-law, assignee or legatee or if payment is not postponed during the life of a surviving spouse, the deferred taxes and interest shall be recovered from the estate of the taxpayer within one year of the date of his death. In addition, deferred real estate taxes and any interest accrued thereon are due within 90 days after any tax deferred property ceases to be qualifying property as defined in Section 2.
    If payment is not made when required by this Section, foreclosure proceedings may be instituted under the Property Tax Code.
    (5) That any joint owner has given written prior approval for such agreement, which written approval shall be made a part of such agreement.
    (6) That a guardian for a person under legal disability appointed for a taxpayer who otherwise qualifies under this Act may act for the taxpayer in complying with this Act.
    (7) That a taxpayer or his agent has provided to the satisfaction of the collector, sufficient evidence that the qualifying property on which the taxes are to be deferred is insured against fire or casualty loss for at least the total amount of taxes which have been deferred.
    If the taxes to be deferred are special assessments, the unit of local government making the assessments shall forward a copy of the agreement entered into pursuant to this Section and the bills for such assessments to the county collector of the county in which the qualifying property is located.
(Source: P.A. 97-481, eff. 8-22-11.)