State of Illinois
2021 and 2022


Introduced 2/17/2021, by Rep. Dave Vella


35 ILCS 200/15-172.5 new

    Amends the Property Tax Code. Creates an assessment freeze homestead exemption for persons receiving federal Supplemental Security Income. Effective immediately.

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1    AN ACT concerning revenue.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Property Tax Code is amended by adding
5Section 15-172.5 as follows:
6    (35 ILCS 200/15-172.5 new)
7    Sec. 15-172.5. Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption for
8persons receiving Supplemental Security Income.
9    (a) This Section may be cited as the Assessment Freeze
10Homestead Exemption for persons receiving Supplemental
11Security Income.
12    (b) As used in this Section:
13    "Applicant" means an individual who has filed an
14application under this Section.
15    "Base amount" means the base year equalized assessed value
16of the residence plus the first year's equalized assessed
17value of any added improvements which increased the assessed
18value of the residence after the base year.
19    "Base year" means the taxable year prior to the taxable
20year for which the applicant first qualifies and applies for
21the exemption, provided that, in the prior taxable year, the
22property was improved with a permanent structure that was
23occupied as a residence by the applicant who was liable for



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1paying real property taxes on the property and who was either
2(i) an owner of record of the property or had legal or
3equitable interest in the property as evidenced by a written
4instrument or (ii) had a legal or equitable interest as a
5lessee in the parcel of property that was single family
7    "Chief County Assessment Officer" means the County
8Assessor or Supervisor of Assessments of the county in which
9the property is located.
10    "Equalized assessed value" means the assessed value of the
11property as equalized by the Department of Revenue.
12    "Household" means the applicant, the spouse of the
13applicant, and all persons using the residence of the
14applicant as their principal place of residence.
15    "Household income" means the combined income of the
16members of a household for the calendar year preceding the
17taxable year.
18    "Income" has the same meaning as provided in Section 3.07
19of the Senior Citizens and Persons with Disabilities Property
20Tax Relief Act, but does not include veteran's benefits.
21    "Internal Revenue Code of 1986" means the United States
22Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or any successor law or laws
23relating to federal income taxes in effect for the year
24preceding the taxable year.
25    "Life care facility that qualifies as a cooperative" means
26a facility as defined in Section 2 of the Life Care Facilities



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2    "Maximum income limitation" means $55,000.
3    "Residence" means the principal dwelling place and
4appurtenant structures used for residential purposes in this
5State occupied on January 1 of the taxable year by a household
6and so much of the surrounding land, constituting the parcel
7upon which the dwelling place is situated, as is used for
8residential purposes. If the chief county assessment officer
9has established a specific legal description for a portion of
10property constituting the residence, then that portion of
11property shall be deemed the residence for the purposes of
12this Section.
13    "Taxable year" means the calendar year during which ad
14valorem property taxes payable in the next succeeding year are
16    (c) Beginning in taxable year 2021, an assessment freeze
17homestead exemption is granted for real property that is
18improved with a permanent structure that is occupied as a
19residence by an applicant who (i) receives federal
20Supplemental Security Income during the taxable year, (ii) has
21a household income that does not exceed the maximum income
22limitation, (iii) is liable for paying real property taxes on
23the property, and (iv) is an owner of record of the property or
24has a legal or equitable interest in the property as evidenced
25by a written instrument. This homestead exemption shall also
26apply to a leasehold interest in a parcel of property improved



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1with a permanent structure that is a single family residence
2that is occupied as a residence by a person who (i) receives
3federal Supplemental Security Income during the taxable year,
4(ii) has a household income that does not exceed the maximum
5income limitation, (iii) has a legal or equitable ownership
6interest in the property as lessee, and (iv) is liable for the
7payment of real property taxes on that property.
8    The amount of the exemption is the equalized assessed
9value of the residence in the taxable year for which
10application is made minus the base amount.
11    When the applicant is a surviving spouse of an applicant
12for a prior year for the same residence for which an exemption
13under this Section has been granted, the base year and base
14amount for that residence are the same as for the applicant for
15the prior year.
16    Each year at the time the assessment books are certified
17to the County Clerk, the Board of Review or Board of Appeals
18shall give to the County Clerk a list of the assessed values of
19improvements on each parcel qualifying for this exemption that
20were added after the base year for this parcel and that
21increased the assessed value of the property.
22    In the case of land improved with an apartment building
23owned and operated as a cooperative or a building that is a
24life care facility that qualifies as a cooperative, the
25maximum reduction from the equalized assessed value of the
26property is limited to the sum of the reductions calculated



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1for each unit occupied as a residence by a person or persons
2(i) who receive federal Supplemental Security Income during
3the taxable year, (ii) with a household income that does not
4exceed the maximum income limitation, (iii) who are liable, by
5contract with the owner or owners of record, for paying real
6property taxes on the property, and (iv) who is an owner of
7record of a legal or equitable interest in the cooperative
8apartment building, other than a leasehold interest. In the
9instance of a cooperative where a homestead exemption has been
10granted under this Section, the cooperative association or its
11management firm shall credit the savings resulting from that
12exemption only to the apportioned tax liability of the owner
13who qualified for the exemption. Any person who willfully
14refuses to credit that savings to an owner who qualifies for
15the exemption is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.
16    When a homestead exemption has been granted under this
17Section and an applicant then becomes a resident of a facility
18licensed under the Assisted Living and Shared Housing Act, the
19Nursing Home Care Act, the Specialized Mental Health
20Rehabilitation Act of 2013, the ID/DD Community Care Act, or
21the MC/DD Act, the exemption shall be granted in subsequent
22years so long as the residence (i) continues to be occupied by
23the qualified applicant's spouse or (ii) if remaining
24unoccupied, is still owned by the qualified applicant for the
25homestead exemption.
26    When an individual dies who would have qualified for an



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1exemption under this Section, and the surviving spouse does
2not independently qualify for this exemption because he or she
3does not receive Supplemental Security Income, the exemption
4under this Section shall be granted to the surviving spouse
5for the taxable year preceding and the taxable year of the
6death, provided that the surviving spouse meets all other
7qualifications for the granting of this exemption for those
9    When married persons maintain separate residences, the
10exemption provided for in this Section may be claimed by only
11one of such persons and for only one residence.
12    In counties having 3,000,000 or more inhabitants, to
13receive the exemption, a person may submit an application to
14the chief county assessment officer of the county in which the
15property is located during such period as may be specified by
16the chief county assessment officer. The chief county
17assessment officer in counties of 3,000,000 or more
18inhabitants shall annually give notice of the application
19period by mail or by publication. In counties having less than
203,000,000 inhabitants, to receive the exemption, a person
21shall submit an application by July 1 of each taxable year to
22the chief county assessment officer of the county in which the
23property is located. A county having less than 3,000,000
24inhabitants may, by ordinance, establish a date for submission
25of applications that is different than July 1. The applicant
26shall submit with the application an affidavit verifying the



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1applicant's qualifications for the exemption under this
2Section. The Department shall establish, by rule, a method for
3verifying the accuracy of such affidavits, and the chief
4county assessment officer may conduct audits of any taxpayer
5claiming an exemption under this Section to verify that the
6taxpayer is eligible to receive the exemption. Each
7application shall contain or be verified by a written
8declaration that it is made under the penalties of perjury. A
9taxpayer's signing a fraudulent application under this Act is
10perjury, as defined in Section 32-2 of the Criminal Code of
112012. The applications shall be clearly marked as applications
12for the Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption for Persons
13Receiving Supplemental Security Income and must contain a
14notice that any taxpayer who receives the exemption is subject
15to an audit by the chief county assessment officer.
16    If an applicant fails to file the application required by
17this Section in a timely manner and this failure to file is due
18to a mental or physical condition sufficiently severe so as to
19render the applicant incapable of filing the application in a
20timely manner, the chief county assessment officer may extend
21the filing deadline for a period of 30 days after the applicant
22regains the capability to file the application, but in no case
23may the filing deadline be extended beyond 3 months of the
24original filing deadline. In order to receive the extension
25provided in this paragraph, the applicant shall provide the
26chief county assessment officer with a signed statement from



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1the applicant's physician, advanced practice nurse, or
2physician assistant stating the nature and extent of the
3condition, that, in the physician's, advanced practice
4nurse's, or physician assistant's opinion, the condition was
5so severe that it rendered the applicant incapable of filing
6the application in a timely manner, and the date on which the
7applicant regained the capability to file the application.
8    The chief county assessment officer may determine the
9eligibility of a life care facility that qualifies as a
10cooperative to receive the benefits provided by this Section
11by use of an affidavit, application, visual inspection,
12questionnaire, or other reasonable method in order to insure
13that the tax savings resulting from the exemption are credited
14by the management firm to the apportioned tax liability of
15each qualifying resident. The chief county assessment officer
16may request reasonable proof that the management firm has so
17credited that exemption.
18    Except as provided in this Section, all information
19received by the chief county assessment officer or the
20Department from applications filed under this Section, or from
21any investigation conducted under the provisions of this
22Section, shall be confidential, except for official purposes
23or pursuant to official procedures for collection of any State
24or local tax or enforcement of any civil or criminal penalty or
25sanction imposed by this Act or by any statute or ordinance
26imposing a State or local tax. Any person who divulges any such



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1information in any manner, except in accordance with a proper
2judicial order, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
3    Nothing contained in this Section shall prevent the
4Director or chief county assessment officer from publishing or
5making available reasonable statistics concerning the
6operation of the exemption contained in this Section in which
7the contents of claims are grouped into aggregates in such a
8way that information contained in any individual claim shall
9not be disclosed.
10    (d) Each Chief County Assessment Officer shall annually
11publish a notice of availability of the exemption provided
12under this Section. The notice shall be published at least 60
13days but no more than 75 days prior to the date on which the
14application must be submitted to the Chief County Assessment
15Officer of the county in which the property is located. The
16notice shall appear in a newspaper of general circulation in
17the county.
18    Notwithstanding Sections 6 and 8 of the State Mandates
19Act, no reimbursement by the State is required for the
20implementation of any mandate created by this Section.
21    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
22becoming law.