When a property tax payer in Lake County applies for and subsequently receives a senior freeze, the assessed value of the relevant property will not be increased from the prior year’s assessed value. Lake County has increased the maximum amount of annual gross income that a taxpayer’s household can earn to qualify for the freeze from $55,00 to $65,000.
Thus, for 2018, the qualifications are as follows:
At least one of the property’s owners must be 65 years old or older during the tax year;
The owner(s) must have owned the property as a principal residence on January 1, 2017 and on January 1, 2018; and
2017 total household income can’t exceed $65,000.
Taxpayers should keep in mind that the senior freeze is not a tax freeze or a tax reduction and, therefore, does not protect against increased taxes due to tax rate increases.
Seniors applying for the freeze should be prepared to bring copies of documents showing 2017 income received, such as their 2017 federal income tax return, along with their Social Security statement (SSA-1099) if they have one. If the property is owned in trust, they will need to prove that they are beneficiaries of the trust.
For more information on the senior freeze, please see http://www.lakecountyil.gov/462/Senior-Citizens-Assessment-Freeze or call the Lake County Assessor’s office at (847) 377-2100.