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92_SB0305eng SB305 Engrossed LRB9206279SMdv 1 AN ACT concerning senior citizens. 2 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, 3 represented in the General Assembly: 4 Section 5. The Property Tax Code is amended by changing 5 Section 15-172 as follows: 6 (35 ILCS 200/15-172) 7 Sec. 15-172. Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead 8 Exemption. 9 (a) This Section may be cited as the Senior Citizens 10 Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption. 11 (b) As used in this Section: 12 "Applicant" means an individual who has filed an 13 application under this Section. 14 "Base amount" means the base year equalized assessed 15 value of the residence plus the first year's equalized 16 assessed value of any added improvements which increased the 17 assessed value of the residence after the base year. 18 "Base year" means the taxable year prior to the taxable 19 year for which the applicant first qualifies and applies for 20 the exemption provided that in the prior taxable year the 21 property was improved with a permanent structure that was 22 occupied as a residence by the applicant who was liable for 23 paying real property taxes on the property and who was either 24 (i) an owner of record of the property or had legal or 25 equitable interest in the property as evidenced by a written 26 instrument or (ii) had a legal or equitable interest as a 27 lessee in the parcel of property that was single family 28 residence. If in any subsequent taxable year for which the 29 applicant applies and qualifies for the exemption the 30 equalized assessed value of the residence is less than the 31 equalized assessed value in the existing base year (provided SB305 Engrossed -2- LRB9206279SMdv 1 that such equalized assessed value is not based on an 2 assessed value that results from a temporary irregularity in 3 the property that reduces the assessed value for one or more 4 taxable years), then that subsequent taxable year shall 5 become the base year until a new base year is established 6 under the terms of this paragraph. For taxable year 1999 7 only, the Chief County Assessment Officer shall review (i) 8 all taxable years for which the applicant applied and 9 qualified for the exemption and (ii) the existing base year. 10 The assessment officer shall select as the new base year the 11 year with the lowest equalized assessed value. An equalized 12 assessed value that is based on an assessed value that 13 results from a temporary irregularity in the property that 14 reduces the assessed value for one or more taxable years 15 shall not be considered the lowest equalized assessed value. 16 The selected year shall be the base year for taxable year 17 1999 and thereafter until a new base year is established 18 under the terms of this paragraph. 19 "Chief County Assessment Officer" means the County 20 Assessor or Supervisor of Assessments of the county in which 21 the property is located. 22 "Equalized assessed value" means the assessed value as 23 equalized by the Illinois Department of Revenue. 24 "Household" means the applicant, the spouse of the 25 applicant, and all persons using the residence of the 26 applicant as their principal place of residence. 27 "Household income" means the combined income of the 28 members of a household for the calendar year preceding the 29 taxable year. 30 "Income" has the same meaning as provided in Section 3.07 31 of the Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons Property Tax 32 Relief and Pharmaceutical Assistance Act, except that, 33 beginning in assessment year 2001, "income" does not include 34 veteran's benefits. SB305 Engrossed -3- LRB9206279SMdv 1 "Internal Revenue Code of 1986" means the United States 2 Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or any successor law or laws 3 relating to federal income taxes in effect for the year 4 preceding the taxable year. 5 "Life care facility that qualifies as a cooperative" 6 means a facility as defined in Section 2 of the Life Care 7 Facilities Act. 8 "Residence" means the principal dwelling place and 9 appurtenant structures used for residential purposes in this 10 State occupied on January 1 of the taxable year by a 11 household and so much of the surrounding land, constituting 12 the parcel upon which the dwelling place is situated, as is 13 used for residential purposes. If the Chief County Assessment 14 Officer has established a specific legal description for a 15 portion of property constituting the residence, then that 16 portion of property shall be deemed the residence for the 17 purposes of this Section. 18 "Taxable year" means the calendar year during which ad 19 valorem property taxes payable in the next succeeding year 20 are levied. 21 (c) Beginning in taxable year 1994, a senior citizens 22 assessment freeze homestead exemption is granted for real 23 property that is improved with a permanent structure that is 24 occupied as a residence by an applicant who (i) is 65 years 25 of age or older during the taxable year, (ii) has a household 26 income of $35,000 or less prior to taxable year 1999 or 27 $40,000 or less in taxable year 1999 and thereafter, subject 28 to adjustment, (iii) is liable for paying real property taxes 29 on the property, and (iv) is an owner of record of the 30 property or has a legal or equitable interest in the property 31 as evidenced by a written instrument. This homestead 32 exemption shall also apply to a leasehold interest in a 33 parcel of property improved with a permanent structure that 34 is a single family residence that is occupied as a residence SB305 Engrossed -4- LRB9206279SMdv 1 by a person who (i) is 65 years of age or older during the 2 taxable year, (ii) has a household income of $35,000 or less 3 prior to taxable year 1999 or $40,000 or less in taxable year 4 1999 and thereafter, subject to adjustment, (iii) has a legal 5 or equitable ownership interest in the property as lessee, 6 and (iv) is liable for the payment of real property taxes on 7 that property. Beginning in taxable year 2002, the household 8 income limitation shall be adjusted annually by the 9 Department of Revenue to reflect increases in the Consumer 10 Price Index reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of 11 the federal Department of Labor or its successor agency. If 12 this Consumer Price Index ceases to be reported, then the 13 Department of Revenue shall designate a comparable substitute 14 index by rule. 15 The amount of this exemption shall be the equalized 16 assessed value of the residence in the taxable year for which 17 application is made minus the base amount. 18 When the applicant is a surviving spouse of an applicant 19 for a prior year for the same residence for which an 20 exemption under this Section has been granted, the base year 21 and base amount for that residence are the same as for the 22 applicant for the prior year. 23 Each year at the time the assessment books are certified 24 to the County Clerk, the Board of Review or Board of Appeals 25 shall give to the County Clerk a list of the assessed values 26 of improvements on each parcel qualifying for this exemption 27 that were added after the base year for this parcel and that 28 increased the assessed value of the property. 29 In the case of land improved with an apartment building 30 owned and operated as a cooperative or a building that is a 31 life care facility that qualifies as a cooperative, the 32 maximum reduction from the equalized assessed value of the 33 property is limited to the sum of the reductions calculated 34 for each unit occupied as a residence by a person or persons SB305 Engrossed -5- LRB9206279SMdv 1 65 years of age or older with a household income of $35,000 2 or less prior to taxable year 1999 or $40,000 or less in 3 taxable year 1999 and thereafter, subject to adjustment, who 4 is liable, by contract with the owner or owners of record, 5 for paying real property taxes on the property and who is an 6 owner of record of a legal or equitable interest in the 7 cooperative apartment building, other than a leasehold 8 interest. Beginning in taxable year 2002, the household 9 income limitation shall be adjusted annually by the 10 Department of Revenue to reflect increases in the Consumer 11 Price Index reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of 12 the federal Department of Labor or its successor agency. If 13 this Consumer Price Index ceases to be reported, then the 14 Department of Revenue shall designate a comparable substitute 15 index by rule. In the instance of a cooperative where a 16 homestead exemption has been granted under this Section, the 17 cooperative association or its management firm shall credit 18 the savings resulting from that exemption only to the 19 apportioned tax liability of the owner who qualified for the 20 exemption. Any person who willfully refuses to credit that 21 savings to an owner who qualifies for the exemption is guilty 22 of a Class B misdemeanor. 23 When a homestead exemption has been granted under this 24 Section and an applicant then becomes a resident of a 25 facility licensed under the Nursing Home Care Act, the 26 exemption shall be granted in subsequent years so long as the 27 residence (i) continues to be occupied by the qualified 28 applicant's spouse or (ii) if remaining unoccupied, is still 29 owned by the qualified applicant for the homestead exemption. 30 Beginning January 1, 1997, when an individual dies who 31 would have qualified for an exemption under this Section, and 32 the surviving spouse does not independently qualify for this 33 exemption because of age, the exemption under this Section 34 shall be granted to the surviving spouse for the taxable year SB305 Engrossed -6- LRB9206279SMdv 1 preceding and the taxable year of the death, provided that, 2 except for age, the surviving spouse meets all other 3 qualifications for the granting of this exemption for those 4 years. 5 When married persons maintain separate residences, the 6 exemption provided for in this Section may be claimed by only 7 one of such persons and for only one residence. 8 For taxable year 1994 only, in counties having less than 9 3,000,000 inhabitants, to receive the exemption, a person 10 shall submit an application by February 15, 1995 to the Chief 11 County Assessment Officer of the county in which the property 12 is located. In counties having 3,000,000 or more 13 inhabitants, for taxable year 1994 and all subsequent taxable 14 years, to receive the exemption, a person may submit an 15 application to the Chief County Assessment Officer of the 16 county in which the property is located during such period as 17 may be specified by the Chief County Assessment Officer. The 18 Chief County Assessment Officer in counties of 3,000,000 or 19 more inhabitants shall annually give notice of the 20 application period by mail or by publication. In counties 21 having less than 3,000,000 inhabitants, beginning with 22 taxable year 1995 and thereafter, to receive the exemption, a 23 person shall submit an application by July 1 of each taxable 24 year to the Chief County Assessment Officer of the county in 25 which the property is located. A county may, by ordinance, 26 establish a date for submission of applications that is 27 different than July 1. The applicant shall submit with the 28 application an affidavit of the applicant's total household 29 income, age, marital status (and if married the name and 30 address of the applicant's spouse, if known), and principal 31 dwelling place of members of the household on January 1 of 32 the taxable year. The Department shall establish, by rule, a 33 method for verifying the accuracy of affidavits filed by 34 applicants under this Section. The applications shall be SB305 Engrossed -7- LRB9206279SMdv 1 clearly marked as applications for the Senior Citizens 2 Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption. 3 Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, in 4 counties having fewer than 3,000,000 inhabitants, if an 5 applicant fails to file the application required by this 6 Section in a timely manner and this failure to file is due to 7 a mental or physical condition sufficiently severe so as to 8 render the applicant incapable of filing the application in a 9 timely manner, the Chief County Assessment Officer may extend 10 the filing deadline for a period of 30 days after the 11 applicant regains the capability to file the application, but 12 in no case may the filing deadline be extended beyond 3 13 months of the original filing deadline. In order to receive 14 the extension provided in this paragraph, the applicant shall 15 provide the Chief County Assessment Officer with a signed 16 statement from the applicant's physician stating the nature 17 and extent of the condition, that, in the physician's 18 opinion, the condition was so severe that it rendered the 19 applicant incapable of filing the application in a timely 20 manner, and the date on which the applicant regained the 21 capability to file the application. 22 Beginning January 1, 1998, notwithstanding any other 23 provision to the contrary, in counties having fewer than 24 3,000,000 inhabitants, if an applicant fails to file the 25 application required by this Section in a timely manner and 26 this failure to file is due to a mental or physical condition 27 sufficiently severe so as to render the applicant incapable 28 of filing the application in a timely manner, the Chief 29 County Assessment Officer may extend the filing deadline for 30 a period of 3 months. In order to receive the extension 31 provided in this paragraph, the applicant shall provide the 32 Chief County Assessment Officer with a signed statement from 33 the applicant's physician stating the nature and extent of 34 the condition, and that, in the physician's opinion, the SB305 Engrossed -8- LRB9206279SMdv 1 condition was so severe that it rendered the applicant 2 incapable of filing the application in a timely manner. 3 In counties having less than 3,000,000 inhabitants, if an 4 applicant was denied an exemption in taxable year 1994 and 5 the denial occurred due to an error on the part of an 6 assessment official, or his or her agent or employee, then 7 beginning in taxable year 1997 the applicant's base year, for 8 purposes of determining the amount of the exemption, shall be 9 1993 rather than 1994. In addition, in taxable year 1997, the 10 applicant's exemption shall also include an amount equal to 11 (i) the amount of any exemption denied to the applicant in 12 taxable year 1995 as a result of using 1994, rather than 13 1993, as the base year, (ii) the amount of any exemption 14 denied to the applicant in taxable year 1996 as a result of 15 using 1994, rather than 1993, as the base year, and (iii) the 16 amount of the exemption erroneously denied for taxable year 17 1994. 18 For purposes of this Section, a person who will be 65 19 years of age during the current taxable year shall be 20 eligible to apply for the homestead exemption during that 21 taxable year. Application shall be made during the 22 application period in effect for the county of his or her 23 residence. 24 The Chief County Assessment Officer may determine the 25 eligibility of a life care facility that qualifies as a 26 cooperative to receive the benefits provided by this Section 27 by use of an affidavit, application, visual inspection, 28 questionnaire, or other reasonable method in order to insure 29 that the tax savings resulting from the exemption are 30 credited by the management firm to the apportioned tax 31 liability of each qualifying resident. The Chief County 32 Assessment Officer may request reasonable proof that the 33 management firm has so credited that exemption. 34 Except as provided in this Section, all information SB305 Engrossed -9- LRB9206279SMdv 1 received by the chief county assessment officer or the 2 Department from applications filed under this Section, or 3 from any investigation conducted under the provisions of this 4 Section, shall be confidential, except for official purposes 5 or pursuant to official procedures for collection of any 6 State or local tax or enforcement of any civil or criminal 7 penalty or sanction imposed by this Act or by any statute or 8 ordinance imposing a State or local tax. Any person who 9 divulges any such information in any manner, except in 10 accordance with a proper judicial order, is guilty of a Class 11 A misdemeanor. 12 Nothing contained in this Section shall prevent the 13 Director or chief county assessment officer from publishing 14 or making available reasonable statistics concerning the 15 operation of the exemption contained in this Section in which 16 the contents of claims are grouped into aggregates in such a 17 way that information contained in any individual claim shall 18 not be disclosed. 19 (d) Each Chief County Assessment Officer shall annually 20 publish a notice of availability of the exemption provided 21 under this Section. The notice shall be published at least 22 60 days but no more than 75 days prior to the date on which 23 the application must be submitted to the Chief County 24 Assessment Officer of the county in which the property is 25 located. The notice shall appear in a newspaper of general 26 circulation in the county. 27 (Source: P.A. 90-14, eff. 7-1-97; 90-204, eff. 7-25-97; 28 90-523, eff. 11-13-97; 90-524, eff. 1-1-98; 90-531, eff. 29 1-1-98; 90-655, eff. 7-30-98; 91-45, eff. 6-30-99; 91-56, 30 eff. 6-30-99; 91-819, eff. 6-13-00.) 31 Section 90. The State Mandates Act is amended by adding 32 Section 8.25 as follows: SB305 Engrossed -10- LRB9206279SMdv 1 (30 ILCS 805/8.25 new) 2 Sec. 8.25. Exempt mandate. Notwithstanding Sections 6 3 and 8 of this Act, no reimbursement by the State is required 4 for the implementation of any mandate created by this 5 amendatory Act of the 92nd General Assembly. 6 Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon 7 becoming law.
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