Applications are due March 1, 2024 for this property tax deferral program.

Starting with property taxes due in tax year year 2023, which are due in 2024, a change in state law has permanently lowered the interest rate for eligible seniors who defer some or all of the property taxes they owe by participating in the Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral Program, a State of Illinois program adminstered by county treasurers and tax collectors. 

The new rate is 3% in simple interest annually on the amount of deferred property taxes, rather than 6%.

For taxes due in 2024 seniors can still also take advantage of a temporary expansion of the income eligibility, as well as a temporary increase in the amount of taxes that can be deferred.

The Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral Program is similar to a loan against a home’s market value that allows a qualifying taxpayer to defer property taxes or special assessments owed by taking out a loan from the State of Illinois at 6% annual interest. The deferred taxes, plus the accrued interest, must be repaid when the property is sold or transferred to a new owner, upon the death of the taxpayer or when the property no longer qualifies.

Under state law changes, in place through tax year 2025, the maximum amount of property taxes that can be deferred annually has been temporarily increased to $7,500. There was also a temporary increase in the maximum annual household income for eligibility from $55,000 to $65,000.

Any taxes owed that are not deferred are due as usual.

State legislators who championed these changes include Representative Debbie Meyers-Martin, Represenative Suzanne Ness and Senator Laura Murphy.

Who is eligible?

For tax year 2023, the taxpayer must:

  • Be 65 years old by June 1, 2024;
  • Have a total annual household income of no more than $65,000;
  • Lived in the property for at least the previous 3 years;
  • Own the property, or share joint ownership with your spouse;
  • Owe no property taxes or special assessments on the property;
  • Maintain adequate insurance against fire or casualty loss; and
  • Have an 80% equity interest in the property.

Get more information

Additional program requirements apply. Make sure you fully understand all the requirements and obligations, as well as other options you might have, to make sure participating makes sense for you. A HUD-approved housing counseling agency may be in position to help you figure this out.

More information on the program is available from the Illinois Department of Revenue at https://bit.ly/ilseniortax

There is no application fee to apply.

How to apply

  1. Contact your county treasurer or tax collector’s office to receive an application. In many counties, applications are also made available online.
  2. In Cook County, program information and application materials are available at https://bit.ly/ccseniortax
  3. The completed application must be returned by March 1, 2024.

Housing Action Illinois has no role in administering the program. This material presented is for information only.