Homestead (Owner-Occupied) Exemptions

Homestead Exemptions
Homestead Exemptions reduce the taxable value of a property by a specific amount prior to taxes being calculated; the actual tax savings depends upon the tax rate for a specific property. Typically, homestead exemptions are available for properties that are occupied by their owners or persons with legal or equitable interest as of January 1 of the taxable year.

Example of the Impact of Exemptions
Each exemption reduces the tax burden of a qualifying property by reducing its taxable value. In Jo Daviess County, tax rates generally range from about 6.4554% to 11.21326%, with a median rate of 8.01228%. (Tax rates are determined by your taxing bodies, not by the Assessment Office.)

In the following example, a senior citizen homeowner lives in a house with a fair cash value of $225,000; owner has a household income that qualifies for the senior freeze with a base-year (first year of qualifying) EAV of $56,657. The benefits of the available homestead exemptions, based on a property tax rate of 8.01228% are:

Exempltion Sample


Click on an exemption below for more details.

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION POLICY – Jo Daviess County diligently sends out all renewal exemption forms, highlighting the importance of your timely response. We also provide reminders if the form has not been received by the original deadline. However, once the tax bills have been printed and the renewed exemption form(s) have not been received, there will be no exceptions to file. This means you will lose the exemption(s) for the tax year in which it was not renewed. We urge you to stay informed and responsible in this process. 

(Reminders Sent: Low-Income Senior Freeze, Disabled Persons, Disabled Vet Exemptions)

To qualify for homestead exemptions you must be a full-time resident of Jo Daviess County.  To establish residency in Jo Daviess County, you must provide two out of the three documents when asked;
  • An Illinois Driver’s License with the property address listed;
  • A Federal Tax return with the property address listed;
  • Or an IL Voters Registration Card with the property address listed.
It's important to note that failure to provide two of the three documents, when asked to do so, will result in disqualification from any homestead exemption. This underscores the necessity of compliance.

Homestead (Owner-Occupied) Exemptions

GENERAL HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION (OWNER OCCUPIED)
What does this exemption do?

  • This exemption reduces the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) by the amount of the exemption. For the current tax assessment year, the reduction is $6,000.
Who can qualify for this exemption?
  • A property must be the principal residence of the owner as of January 1 of the assessment year;
  • Exemption may also be available for cooperatives and qualified life-care facilities;
  • PROOF OF RESIDENCY MUST BE PROVIDED WITH EXEMPTION APPLICATION: (I.E. DRIVER’S LICENSE, OR FEDERAL INCOME TAX FORM).
  • Properties Held in Trust.  When you are applying for a new exemption and the property is held in trust, we must verify that the applicant is a beneficiary of that trust. The exemptions cannot be applied without this verification. Please include a copy of that part of the trust agreement which states that the applicant is a beneficiary. This can usually be found on the first few pages of the trust document. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly at 815.777.1016.
How do I apply for this exemption?
You must apply for the exemption with the County Assessment Office. You can get an application at the link below (General Homestead Exemption Form) or you can call 815.777.1016 and one will be mailed to you. You need only apply once, as long as the ownership/residency remains the same.

What is the deadline for this application?
The deadline for this application is May 31st of the current assessment year.

Leasehold General Homestead Exemption Form
The Leasehold General Homestead Exemption needs to be renewed yearly;
Deadline for this application is May 31st of the current assessment year.


35ILCS 200/15-175 from the Illinois Compiled Statutes
2024 General Homestead Exemption Form (Owner Occupied)
  • Did you permanently live in this property as of Jan 1, 2024?
2024 Leasehold General Homestead Exemption Form
  • Did you permanently live in this property as of Jan 1, 2024?
SENIOR CITIZEN HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION
What does this exemption do?
This exemption reduces the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) by the amount of the exemption. For the current tax assessment year, the reduction is $5,000.

Who can qualify for this exemption?

  • A property must be the principal residence of the owner;
  • The owner must be 65 or older by December 31 of the tax assessment year;
  • Exemptions may also be available for cooperatives and qualified life-care facilities.
How do I apply for this exemption?
You must apply for the exemption with the County Assessment Office. You can get an application at the link below (Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption) or you can call 815.777.1016 and one will be mailed to you. After the initial application is approved, this exemption will automatically renew. You will be mailed a Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption application each subsequent year in the event you may qualify for this exemption.

What is the deadline for this application?
The deadline for this application is May 31st of the current assessment year.

35ILCS 200/15-170 from the Illinois Compiled Statutes
2024 Senior Homestead Exemption Form
  • Did you permanently live in this property as of Jan 1, 2024?
SENIOR CITIZEN ASSESSMENT FREEZE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION (PTAX-340)
What does this exemption do?
This exemption effectively freezes your assessment at a base year causing your net assessment not to increase. This does NOT freeze your taxes, only your assessment.

Who can qualify for this exemption?

  • A property must be the principal residence of the owner for the beginning of two consecutive years;
  • The owner must be 65 or older by December 31 of the tax assessment year;
  • The owner must meet certain household income requirements. The maximum household income for this exemption is $65,000.
How do I apply for this exemption?
You must apply for the exemption yearly with the County Assessment Office. You can get the 2022 application at the link below (Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption) or you can call 815.777.1016 and one will be mailed to you. After the initial application is approved, you will be mailed a renewal form each subsequent year.  Annual application is required.

What is the deadline for this application?
The deadline for this application is July 1st of the current assessment year.

35ILCS 200/15-172 from the Illinois Compiled Statutes
2024 Low-Income Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption (PTAX-340)
Conversion Chart Guide for IRS 1040
SENIOR CITIZEN REAL ESTATE TAX DEFERRAL PROGRAM
The application and information for this program must be obtained from the Jo Daviess County Treasurer's Office 815.777.0355 after January 1 of each assessment year.
DISABLED PERSONS HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION (PTAX-343)
What does this exemption do?
This exemption reduces the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) by the amount of the exemption. For the current tax year, the reduction is $2,000.

Who can qualify for this exemption?

  • An eligible taxpayer must occupy the property as their primary residence as of January 1 of the assessment year;
  • The owner must be liable for paying the real estate taxes and must be an owner of record or have a legal or equitable interest in the property as evidenced by a written instrument.
Evidence that a taxpayer meets this condition includes:
  • A class 2 (or 2A) Illinois Persons with Disabilities Exemption Identification Card from the Illinois Secretary of State's Office. (Illinois Disabled Person Identification Card Application)    
  • Proof of Social Security Administration disability benefits.
  • Proof of Veterans Administration disability benefits.
  • Proof of Railroad or Civil Service disability benefits.
An examination by a physician (must meet the same standards as used by the Social Security Administration). (Physicians Statement Form) (PTAX-343-A)

An eligible taxpayer must occupy the property as their primary residence as of January 1 of the assessment year, must be liable for paying the real estate taxes and must be an owner of record or have a legal or equitable interest in the property as evidenced by a written instrument

A taxpayer may not claim the exemption if they claim the Disabled Veterans Homestead Exemption (35ILCS 200/15-169).

How do I apply for this exemption?
You must apply for the exemption with the County Assessment Office. Forms are available below.

What is the deadline for this application?
The deadline for this application is July 1st of the current assessment year.


35ILCS 200/15-168 from the Illinois Compiled Statutes
Illinois Disabled Person Identification Card Application
Disabled Persons Homestead Exemption (PTAX-343) (Initial Application)
Annual Verification Disabled Persons Homestead Exemption Form (PTAX-343-R) (Renewal)
Physicians Statement Form (PTAX-343-A)
DISABLED VETERANS HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION (PTAX-342)
What does this exemption do?
This exemption reduces the equalized assessed value (EAV) by the amount of the exemption. The current EAV reduction is:

  • $2,500 of EAV from the property (before taxes are calculated) for a veteran with a 30%-49% service-connected disability.
  • $5,000 of EAV from the property (before taxes are calculated) for a veteran with a 50%-69% service-connected disability.
  • All EAV from the property (before taxes are calculated) for a veteran with at least a 70% service-connected disability.
Who can qualify for this exemption?
To qualify for the Disabled Veterans'; Standard Homestead Exemption the veteran must meet the following requirements:
  • Be an Illinois resident who has served as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty or state active duty, Illinois National Guard, or U.S. Reserve Forces, and not dishonorably discharged.
  • Have at least a 30% service-connected disability certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
  • Must be the owner of record and occupy the house as of January 1 of the assessment year, or the exemption granted under this Section shall be prorated on a monthly basis, beginning with the first complete month in which the person occupies the qualified residence.
  • A certified DD Form 214 and current disability certification letter from the US Department of Veterans Affairs for the current assessment year must be provided with application.
  • The property must have a total equalized assessed value of less than $250,000 for the primary residence.

How do I apply for this exemption?
You must apply for the exemption with the County Assessment Office. Forms are available below. After the initial application is approved, you will be mailed a renewal form each subsequent year.  Annual application is required.

What is the deadline for this application?
The deadline for this application is July 1st of the current assessment year.

35ILCS 200/15-169 from the Illinois Compiled Statutes
Disabled Veterans Homestead Exemption (PTAX-342) (Initial Application)
Annual Verification for Eligibility for Disabled Veterans Homestead Exemption (PTAX-342-R) (Renewal)
RETURNING VETERANS HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION (PTAX-341)
What does this exemption do?
This exemption provides a one-time reduction in the equalized assessed value (EAV) by the amount of the exemption. For the current tax assessment year the reduction is $5,000 off the equalized assessed value from the property for a qualifying returning veteran.

Who can qualify for this exemption?
To qualify for the Returning Veterans Homestead Exemption the veteran must meet the following requirements:

  • Be an Illinois resident who has served as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, Illinois National Guard, or U.S. Reserve Forces.
  • Returning from active duty in an armed conflict involving the armed forces of the United States during the assessment year.
  • A veteran who dies during his or her active duty service is eligible to receive this exemption.
  • Owned or had a legal or equitable interest in the property used as the principal place of residence on January 1 of the assessment year.
  • Must be liable for the payment of the property taxes.

This exemption may be claimed only in the year in which the eligible veteran taxpayer returns from active duty in an armed conflict. If a veteran taxpayer receives this exemption, then is again deployed on active duty in an armed conflict and returns again in a subsequent year, the veteran taxpayer is eligible for this exemption again if the other conditions are met.

How do I apply for this exemption?
You must apply for the exemption with the County Assessment Office. You can get an application below (Returning Veterans Homestead Exemption) or you can call 815.777.1016 and one will be mailed to you. After the initial application is approved, you will be mailed a renewal form each subsequent year. Annual application is required.


35ILCS 200/15-167
PTAX-341 Returning Veterans' Homestead Exemption
HOMESTEAD IMPROVEMENT EXEMPTION
What does this exemption do?
This exemption reduces the EAV attributable to the improvement for four years based on the Fair Cash Value (up to $75,000) of the improvement.

Who can qualify for this exemption?
A property must be the principal residence of the owner, and have new improvements (such as addition, patio, or deck) that increases the value of the property.  Replacing a roof or siding, windows or general maintenance does not qualify for this exemption.

How do I apply for this exemption?
You do not need to file an application. Your Township Assessor will verify the amount to the County Assessment Office. If you have any questions contact your Township Assessor.

35ILCS 200/15-180
HISTORIC FREEZE
The Historic Residence Assessment Freeze Law and its administrative rules provide that the assessed value of historic, owner-occupied, principal residences can be frozen for eight years followed by a four-year step-up period if their owners undertake sensitive and substantial rehabilitation. This program is administered free of charge to Illinois homeowners.

As for the procedure, the only action that the County Office provides for you is giving you a copy of your property record card (assessed value) and then the implementation of the freeze once approved by the ISHPO.  The paperwork and provisions MUST be done through the IDNR/ISHPO.  Once this is complete and approved and/or denied, the ISHPO will send the Certificate of Rehabilitation to the County Office.  The County will not implement the freeze until the Certificate of Rehabilitation has been issued, approved and received from the ISHPO.

What does this freeze do if approved?  The assessed valuation is frozen for eight years at the pre-rehabilitation level, and then increased to market level over a period of four years.

Helpful websites: 

https://www2.illinois.gov/dnrhistoric/Preserve/Pages/taxfreeze.aspx
https://www2.illinois.gov/dnrhistoric/Preserve/Pages/HARGIS.aspx

If you have any questions regarding this program, you need to contact the ISHPO directly.