Don’t Take Multiple Homeowner’s Exemptions in Cook County!

If you own a home in Cook County that you don’t live in, but are claiming a homeowner’s exemption on your real estate taxes, it’s time to stop.  If you own more than one residence in Cook County and are claiming more than one homeowner’s exemption, again — it’s time to stop. 

In the past, many people got away with taking multiple homeowner’s exemptions.  If the county ever caught you, all they did was remove the exemption going forward.  They did not penalize you.  But not anymore.

Under a new law, the Cook County Assessor’s office will fine property owners who claim multiple exemptions.  Once the county notifies you that you are claiming too many exemptions, you will have 60 days to pay back the exemptions.  If you do not, a lien will be placed against the properties you own that don’t qualify for the exemption.  As time goes on, the penalties will increase.

The good news is that even if you know you owe exemptions, you do have some time to come clean right now.  There is an amnesty period in place until the end of this year.  Take advantage of it!