(35 ILCS 200/15-177)
Sec. 15-177. The long-time occupant homestead exemption.
(a) If the county has elected, under Section 15-176, to be subject to the provisions of the alternative general homestead exemption, then, for taxable years 2007 and thereafter, regardless of whether the exemption under Section 15-176 applies, qualified homestead property is entitled to an annual homestead exemption equal to a reduction in the property's equalized assessed value calculated as provided in this Section.
(b) As used in this Section:
"Adjusted homestead value" means the lesser of the following values:
(1) The property's base homestead value increased
by: (i) 10% for each taxable year after the base year through and including the current tax year for qualified taxpayers with a household income of more than $75,000 but not exceeding $100,000; or (ii) 7% for each taxable year after the base year through and including the current tax year for qualified taxpayers with a household income of $75,000 or less. The increase each year is an increase over the prior year; or
(2) The property's equalized assessed value for
the current tax year minus the general homestead deduction.
"Base homestead value" means:
(1) if the property did not have an adjusted
homestead value under Section 15-176 for the base year, then an amount equal to the equalized assessed value of the property for the base year prior to exemptions, minus the general homestead deduction, provided that the property's assessment was not based on a reduced assessed value resulting from a temporary irregularity in the property for that year; or
(2) if the property had an adjusted homestead value
under Section 15-176 for the base year, then an amount equal to the adjusted homestead value of the property under Section 15-176 for the base year.
"Base year" means the taxable year prior to the taxable year in which the taxpayer first qualifies for the exemption under this Section.
"Current taxable year" means the taxable year for which the exemption under this Section is being applied.
"Equalized assessed value" means the property's assessed value as equalized by the Department.
"Homestead" or "homestead property" means residential property that as of January 1 of the tax year is occupied by a qualified taxpayer as his or her principal dwelling place, or that is a leasehold interest on which a single family residence is situated, that is occupied as a residence by a qualified taxpayer who has a legal or equitable interest therein evidenced by a written instrument, as an owner or as a lessee, and on which the person is liable for the payment of property taxes. Residential units in an apartment building owned and operated as a cooperative, or as a life care facility, which are occupied by persons who hold a legal or equitable interest in the cooperative apartment building or life care facility as owners or lessees, and who are liable by contract for the payment of property taxes, are included within this definition of homestead property. A homestead includes the dwelling place, appurtenant structures, and so much of the surrounding land constituting the parcel on which the dwelling place is situated as is used for residential purposes. If the assessor has established a specific legal description for a portion of property constituting the homestead, then the homestead is limited to the property within that description.
"Household income" has the meaning set forth under Section 15-172 of this Code.
"General homestead deduction" means the amount of the general homestead exemption under Section 15-175.
"Life care facility" means a facility defined in Section 2 of the Life Care Facilities Act.
"Qualified homestead property" means homestead property owned by a qualified taxpayer.
"Qualified taxpayer" means any individual:
(1) who, for at least 10 continuous years as of
January 1 of the taxable year, has occupied the same homestead property as a principal residence and domicile or who, for at least 5 continuous years as of January 1 of the taxable year, has occupied the same homestead property as a principal residence and domicile if that person received assistance in the acquisition of the property as part of a government or nonprofit housing program; and
(2) who has a household income of $100,000 or less.
(c) The base homestead value must remain constant, except that the assessor may revise it under any of the following circumstances:
(1) If the equalized assessed value of a homestead
property for the current tax year is less than the previous base homestead value for that property, then the current equalized assessed value (provided it is not based on a reduced assessed value resulting from a temporary irregularity in the property) becomes the base homestead value in subsequent tax years.
(2) For any year in which new buildings, structures,
or other improvements are constructed on the homestead property that would increase its assessed value, the assessor shall adjust the base homestead value with due regard to the value added by the new improvements.
(d) The amount of the exemption under this Section is the greater of: (i) the equalized assessed value of the homestead property for the current tax year minus the adjusted homestead value; or (ii) the general homestead deduction.
(e) In the case of an apartment building owned and operated as a cooperative, or as a life care facility, that contains residential units that qualify as homestead property of a qualified taxpayer under this Section, the maximum cumulative exemption amount attributed to the entire building or facility shall not exceed the sum of the exemptions calculated for each unit that is a qualified homestead property. The cooperative association, management firm, or other person or entity that manages or controls the cooperative apartment building or life care facility shall credit the exemption attributable to each residential unit only to the apportioned tax liability of the qualified taxpayer as to that unit. Any person who willfully refuses to so credit the exemption is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.
(f) When married persons maintain separate residences, the exemption provided under this Section may be claimed by only one such person and for only one residence. No person who receives an exemption under Section 15-172 of this Code may receive an exemption under this Section. No person who receives an exemption under this Section may receive an exemption under Section 15-175 or 15-176 of this Code.
(g) In the event of a sale or other transfer in ownership of the homestead property between spouses or between a parent and a child, the exemption under this Section remains in effect if the new owner has a household income of $100,000 or less.
(h) In the event of a sale or other transfer in ownership of the homestead property other than subsection (g) of this Section, the exemption under this Section shall remain in effect for the remainder of the tax year and be calculated using the same base homestead value in which the sale or transfer occurs.
(i) To receive the exemption, a person must submit an application to the county assessor during the period specified by the county assessor.
The county assessor shall annually give notice of the application period by mail or by publication.
The taxpayer must submit, with the application, an affidavit of the taxpayer's total household income, marital status (and if married the name and address of the applicant's spouse, if known), and principal dwelling place of members of the household on January 1 of the taxable year. The Department shall establish, by rule, a method for verifying the accuracy of affidavits filed by applicants under this Section, and the Chief County Assessment Officer may conduct audits of any taxpayer claiming an exemption under this Section to verify that the taxpayer is eligible to receive the exemption. Each application shall contain or be verified by a written declaration that it is made under the penalties of perjury. A taxpayer's signing a fraudulent application under this Act is perjury, as defined in Section 32-2 of the Criminal Code of 2012. The applications shall be clearly marked as applications for the Long-time Occupant Homestead Exemption and must contain a notice that any taxpayer who receives the exemption is subject to an audit by the Chief County Assessment Officer.
(j) Notwithstanding Sections 6 and 8 of the State Mandates Act, no reimbursement by the State is required for the implementation of any mandate created by this Section.
(Source: P.A. 97-1150, eff. 1-25-13.)
Last modified: February 18, 2015