Orland Township senior citizens received renewal applications for senior citizen property tax exemptions in early January, and will have until February 6 to return them to the Cook County Assessor’s office. Local senior citizens should feel free to call the office of Rich E. Kelly for help completing and filing the forms.

Under current law, Senior Exemptions must be renewed every year. In the past, it was not necessary to file annual renewals after a senior qualified for the exemption for the first time. Two years ago, however, the law changed such that Senior Exemptions now must be renewed every year. Accordingly, Assessor Kelly urges all seniors to complete and return the recently mailed renewal forms.

Eligibility for Senior Citizen Exemptions

There are two senior citizen property tax exemptions:

1) The Senior Exemption, available to all seniors regardless of income, reduces property taxes by about $330. It is available to any owner-occupied residential property whose owner was born in 1947 or earlier.

2) The Senior Freeze provides some seniors with additional savings if the combined income of all occupants in a senior’s household is less than $55,000, and if the senior has been an owner-occupant of the house since January 1, 2011.

The senior applications that have been mailed are for 2012 property taxes, (paid in calendar year 2013) and the savings from the exemptions will appear on the second installment tax bills that will likely be mailed in July of 2013.

Information for Seniors not Receiving Mailings

Homeowners who were born in 1947 turned sixty-five in 2012, and thus are likely to be eligible for one of the senior exemptions for the first time. “Taxpayers who recently turned sixty-five will not receive application forms when the senior renewal forms are mailed,” Assessor Kelly said. “I encourage such individuals to call my office to obtain the forms and information necessary to receive the senior benefits. The forms are also available online at"