River Grove Homeowners
Taxpayers Beware of Fraudulent Mailing

A fraudulent solicitation was recently mailed to many taxpayers regarding a property’s Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). This letter is fraudulent and was NOT sent by the Assessor’s Office. If you received this letter and have already submitted your bank information, contact your bank immediately.


Cook County Assessor

Cook County Board of Review

Leyden Township Assessor
Al J. Biancalana
2501 N. Mannheim Rd.
Franklin Pk., IL 60131
847- 455-8616
Hours 9:00 A.M. To 4:00 P.M




Regional Community Service Centers Village of Melrose Park
900 N. 25th Ave.
Melrose Park, IL 60160
Phone: (312) 795-8962

Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network

1-855-KEEP-411 (Toll Free)

The Network is a FREE one-stop resource to connect homeowners with important tools, including access to: counseling services, foreclosure prevention events, legal advice, tips on how to avoid mortgage fraud, mortgage assistance programs and other resources for homeowners


Illinois Foreclosure Prevention and Cook County Mediation Programs

CEDA IFP and Mediation Programs are designed to assist families and individuals that are delinquent in or in default of losing their homes. The goal is to help the homeowner reach a dignified exit. A CEDA housing counselor will work closely with the legal department and/or lender and servicer for a payment plan to remain in the house or help them obtain other housing opportunities.

Cook County Recorder of Deeds

How to check your deed

Sign up for a property fraud alert




Homeowner Exemptions

Information below is from Cook County Assessor's Office. These are just a few highlights of what can be found on that site. For a more in depth information visit the site at www.cookcountyassessor.com


Homeowner Exemption

 Homeowner Exemption Application

You can receive the Homeowner Exemption if you own or have a lease or contract which makes you responsible for the real estate taxes of the residential property. It must also be used as your principal place of residence for the year in question.
This exemption will be prorated if you purchased a newly constructed home that was not ready for occupancy until sometime after January 1 of the tax year in question. For further assistance, call our Taxpayer Services Department at (312) 443-7550. If you have never received a Homeowner Exemption on your home, you will need to apply for one. Exemption forms may be obtained by downloading the link below or visiting one of the Assessor’s Office locations or your local township assessor.
Homeowner Exemption Application

Senior Citizen Exemption

Senior Citizen Exemption Application















The Senior Citizen Exemption provides tax relief by reducing the equalized assessed valuation of an eligible residence. This savings is in the form of a deduction on the second-installment real estate tax bill.
Senior Citizens receiving the Senior Citizen Exemption automatically qualify for the Homeowner Exemption and do not have to apply for it separately. State law requires that senior citizens reapply annually for the Senior Exemption.

If you apply by mail, do not send originals of the above documents. Please send copies because the documents cannot be returned to you. If you apply in person at the Assessor's Office, your documents will be reviewed and returned to you while you wait.

Elgibility requirements for the Senior Citizen Exemption?

  1. You must be 65 years of age or older during the tax year for which you are applying;
  2. You must either own the property or have a lease or contract which makes you responsible for the real estate taxes; and
  3. The property must be your principal residence. If you have moved or plan to move in the future, you may be entitled to a prorated Senior Citizen Exemption, based on the time of occupancy. To apply for a prorated Senior Citizen Exemption you must submit:
    • A Senior Citizen Exemption Application Form
    • A closing or settlement statement
    • Copy of a recent property tax bill
    • Copy of proof of age and residency
    Application Procedures
    1. If you are eligible for the exemption, please complete and sign the Senior Citizen Exemption Application Form. Information pertaining to Permanent Index Number and township can be found on your real estate tax bill.
    2. You must also provide the following information:

    Recent Real Estate Tax Bill For Your Home
    This includes your residential/property address and index number. If your bill is not mailed to your home, you must supply ONE MORE document that would prove your home address, such as your voter's registration card, voting record from the tax year(s) for which you are applying, or Driver's License or Illinois Identification (ID) card showing your address as the property address issued prior to the earliest year for which you are applying.

    Proof Of Your Age
    Submit ONLY ONE official document that clearly shows your birth date, such as your Driver's License, Illinois Identification (ID) Card, Alien Registration Card, Social Security Form 2458, Naturalization Papers, Passport, or Birth or Baptismal Certificate. NOTE: Women who submit documents with maiden name must provide Marriage Certificate(s) to show connection with current name.

    Owners of cooperative apartments must also submit a stock certificate, occupancy agreement, or trust agreement, along with their application.

If you are 65 or over, you will qualify for this exemption in your name. Please notify the Taxpayer Services Department and we will send you the proper application forms. Otherwise, your property will receive the exemption for the remainder of the year of your spouse’s death. You will then have to apply when you turn 65. For more information, you may contact our Taxpayer Services Department at (312) 443-7550.

Senior Freeze Exemption

Senior Freeze Exemption Application








The Senior Freeze Exemption allows qualified senior citizens to apply for a freeze of the equalized assessed value (EAV) of their properties for the year preceding the year in which they first apply and qualify for this exemption. For example, a senior citizen who qualifies and applies for this exemption in taxable year 2014 will have the EAV of the property frozen at the 2013 EAV.
Those who qualify and receive this exemption should be aware that this does not automatically freeze the amount of their tax bill. Only the EAV remains at the fixed amount. The amount of dollars that the taxing districts ask for (levy) may change and thus alter a tax bill.

To qualify for the Senior Freeze Exemption for the taxable year 2014, taxpayers must have:

  • been born prior to or in the year 1949,
  • a total household income of $55,000 or less for income tax year 2013,
  • owned the property or had a legal, equitable or leasehold interest in the property on January 1, 2013 and January 1, 2014,
  • used the property as a principal place of residence as of January 1, 2013 and January 1, 2014, and
  • been liable for the payment of 2013 and 2014 property taxes.

Those who are currently receiving the Senior Citizen Exemption will automatically receive an application form for the Senior Freeze Exemption.
You must file each year in order to continue to receive the Senior Freeze Exemption and the requirements must be met each year.

Home Improvement Exemption











The Home Improvement Exemption allows you to increase the value of your home with up to $75,000 worth of improvements without increasing your property taxes for at least four years. The exemption is available to owners of single-family homes, condominiums, cooperatives, and apartment buildings up to six units.

The Home Improvement Exemption can also be used for repair necessitated by structural damage as a result of severe weather conditions, such as flooding.

You will automatically receive the exemption when our office field checks the building permit for the improvement. A notice will be sent to you after we complete the check.

What is not covered by a Home Improvement Exemption?

The exemption is not granted for loss of personal property, normal weather damage, or routine maintenance. Routine maintenance includes repairs to or replacement of parts that would not increase the value of your property. The following are examples of normal upkeep:

  • Repair or replace roofing materials, sidewalks, driveways, or fencing
  • Insulate and/or add storm windows and doors
  • Add or replace gutters and downspouts
  • Place siding over existing frame structure
  • Add or improve trees, lawns, and landscaping
  • Paint, decorate, plaster, or change exterior ornamentations
  • Replace furnace, or replace old heating systems with solar heating
  • Replace kitchen cabinets, flooring, fixtures
  • Replace or add water softener, or add larger hot water heater
  • Add outdoor lighting, burglar or fire alarms
  • Replace electrical systems or plumbing fixtures
  • Install above-ground swimming pool or outdoor playground facilities
  • Add automatic garage door opener
  • Add aluminum soffit and facia

To learn whether you may qualify for the Home Improvement Exemption, call the Cook County Assessor's Office at 312/443-7550.

Returning Veterans' Exemption

Returning Veterans' Exemption Application





Veterans returning from active duty in armed conflict are eligible to receive a $5,000 reduction in the equalized assessed value of their property only for each taxable year in which they return.

To qualify for the Returning Veterans' Exemption the veteran must:

  • be an Illinois resident who has served as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, Illinois National Guard or U.S. Reserve Forces,
  • be returning from active duty in an armed conflict involving the armed forces of the U.S.,
  • have owned or had a legal or equitable interest in the property and used it as a principal place of residence on January 1st of the tax year in question, and
  • be liable for the payment of property taxes.

Veterans must complete the exemption application with the CCAO and:

  • If a veteran is discharged from active duty service, he or she will need to provide the Department of Defense DD Form 214 certified by the County Recorder or Recorder of Deed’s or the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
  • If a veteran is still on active duty after returning home, they will need to provide military orders and a travel voucher showing the date of his or her return.  The documents must state that they are returning from armed conflict involving the armed forces of the U.S. within the tax year that they are requesting the exemption.

Please Note: This exemption may be received in addition to any of the other exemptions.

Disabled Veterans Exemption

Disabled Veterans' Exemption Application








Veterans with a service connected disability as certified by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs are eligible for this annual exemption. A disability of at least 70 percent is eligible for a $5,000 exemption in equalized assessed value (EAV). A disability of at least 50 percent, but less than 69 percent is eligible for a $2,500 reduction in EAV.

To qualify for the Disabled Veterans' Exemption the veteran must:

  • be an Illinois resident who has served as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty or on active duty in the state of Illinois, Illinois National Guard, or U.S. Reserve Forces,
  • have been honorably discharged
  • have at least a 50% service-connected disability certified by the U.S Department of Veterans’ Affairs,
  • own and occupy the property as the primary residence on January 1st of the tax year in question, and
  • have a total EAV of less than $250,000 for the primary residence, excluding the EAV of property used for commercial purposes or rented for more than 6 months.

A surviving spouse of the qualified veteran may claim this exemption as long as the spouse does not remarry. If the surviving spouse sells the residence, the exemption may be transferred to his or her new primary residence.

Veterans must complete the exemption application with the CCAO and provide the following:

  • a first time applicant will need to provide a Department of Defense DD Form 214, certified by the County Recorder, Recorder of Deeds, or Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and a Disability Certification Letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and
  • a surviving spouse applying for the first time or transferring the exemption to a new address will need to provide the disabled veteran’s death certificate and proof of ownership.

Please Note: This exemption cannot be received with the
 Disabled Persons’ or Returning Veterans’ Exemptions

Disabled Persons Exemption

Disabled Persons' Exemption Application








This exemption provides disabled persons with an annual $2,000 reduction in the equalized assessed value (EAV) of the property.

To qualify for the Disabled Persons’ Exemption the taxpayer must:

  • be disabled or become disabled during the assessment year,
  • own or have a legal or equitable interest in the property, or a leasehold interest in a single-family residence,
  • occupy the property as the principal residence on January 1st of the tax year in question, and
  • be liable for the payment of property taxes.

If a person’s home previously received the Disabled Persons’ Exemption and the taxpayer now resides in a facility licensed under the Nursing Home Care Act, his or her home is still eligible to receive this exemption provided:

  • the property is occupied by the spouse, and
  • the property remains unoccupied.
Documentation Needed

Applicants must complete the exemption application with the CCAO and must provide one of the following documents:

  • A Class 2 Disabled Person Illinois Identification Card from the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office
  • Proof of Social Security Administration disability benefits. This proof includes an award letter, verification letter, or annual cost of living adjustment
  • Proof of Veterans’ Administration disability benefits.  This proof includes an award letter of total (100%) disability, pension statement, or statement showing compensation rated at 100%.
  • Proof of Railroad or Civil Service disability benefits is an award letter of total (100%) disability.

If a taxpayer can not provide proof from one of the items listed above they will need to submit the Illinois Department of Revenue’s Form PTAX 343-A Physician’s Statement of Proof of a Disability. The taxpayer may also be required to be re-examined by an IDOR designated physician.
Please Note: This exemption cannot be received with the Disabled Veterans’ Exemption.





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