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IMPORTANT NOTICE: Are You Qualified for a Property Tax Rebate?

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: Chicago Property Tax Rebate Program

THE PROPERTY TAX REBATE APPLICATION DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO DECEMBER 30, 2016!

Homeowners Can Apply In Person for a Rebate at Any of the Over 26 Neighborhood Locations, and Rebate Checks will be Received Six to Eight Weeks After Processing

The City of Chicago Property Tax Rebate Program provides working- and middle-class families and seniors some property tax relief through a City-funded rebate. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago City Council are implementing this rebate program to offset the property tax increase needed to fund the pensions of police officers and firefighters.

The program is available to homeowners citywide, and it is easy to apply at any of the over 20 neighborhood locations and at City Hall. The program includes a standard rebate for qualifying homeowners, a senior supplement for eligible senior homeowners, and an enhanced grant for homeowners experiencing significant hardship.

If you are a Chicago homeowner with a household adjusted gross income (HAGI) of $75,000 or less earned in 2015 and the City portion of your most recent property tax bill (received in July 2016) increased from the previous year’s property tax bill (received in July 2015), you may be eligible for a rebate from the City of Chicago.

If you do not have a copy of your property tax bill, visit the Cook County Treasurer’s website at: http://www.cookcountytreasurer.com/getacopyofbill.aspx

Homeowners have until Friday, December 30, 2016 to apply for a rebate. Homeowners must apply for the rebate in person at one of the neighborhood processing locations or at City Hall.

The following provides detail on the eligibility requirements for the City of Chicago rebate program, possible rebate amounts, documentation needed to apply for a rebate, and locations to apply for the rebate along with additional information regarding the rebate program.

Eligibility:

In order to qualify for a City of Chicago property tax rebate, homeowners must meet all the following eligibility requirements:

  • Chicago Resident and Homeowner;
  • Received the Cook County Homeowners’ Exemption in the most recent property tax year;
  • Household adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less in 2015;
  • City of Chicago portion of property taxes increased on most recent tax bill;
  • Current on the payment of property taxes;
  • Do not owe real estate taxes on other property located in Chicago; and
  • Do not have City debt (e.g. parking tickets, overdue water bills). In cases where City debt is owed, the rebate will be applied to the debt.

For the senior supplement and enhanced grant, other eligibility requirements apply and are discussed further in those sections.

Standard Rebate:

The standard rebate provides qualifying homeowners with a rebate between $25 and $200, based on the increase in the City’s portion of their most recent property tax bill and their household income.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, you may be eligible for a grant based on the following chart:

City of Chicago Property Tax Increase Amount HAGI* $ 0 to $24,999 Grant Amount HAGI* $25,000 to $49,999 Grant Amount HAGI* $50,000 to $75,000 Grant Amount
$0-$49.99 $25 $25 $0
$50-$99.99 $50 $25 $0
$100-$149.99 $75 $50 $25
$150-$199.99 $100 $75 $50
$200-$249.99 $125 $100 $75
$250-$299.99 $150 $125 $100
$300-$349.99 $175 $150 $125
$350+ $200 $175 $150

*HAGI: Household Adjusted Gross Income

The standard rebate amount will be calculated by staff at the processing sites and verified by City of Chicago staff before rebate checks will be mailed. In cases where City debt is identified, the rebate amount will be applied to the debt.

Senior Supplement:

A senior supplement is available to certain seniors who are long-time homeowners. This supplement provides an additional $150 to qualified seniors.

Eligibility requirements for the senior supplement are:

  • Qualify for the standard rebate;
  • Be 60 years of age or older as of January 1, 2016;
  • Lived in your home as your principal place of residence since at least January 1, 1998;
  • Your property’s Equalized Assessed Value increased by 30 percent or more from the 2014 tax year to the 2015 tax year;
  • You did not receive the Senior Freeze for the 2015 tax year;
  • You did not receive the Homestead Improvement Exemption for the 2015 tax year.

Eligibility for the senior supplement will be determined by staff at the processing sites and verified by City of Chicago staff before rebate checks will be mailed.

In cases where City debt is identified, the rebate amount will be applied to the debt.

Enhanced Grant:

In addition to the standard rebate and senior supplement, eligible homeowners – including non-seniors — who are experiencing significant hardship, may apply for additional property tax relief. In order to receive the enhanced grant, you must qualify for the standard rebate and meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Enrolled in Illinois Benefits Access Program (previously known as Circuit Breaker)
  • Enrolled in Illinois Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP previously known as food stamps)
  • Enrolled in Illinois Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Receiving an Illinois Unemployment Insurance award
  • Receiving a Social Security Disability award

Enhanced grant amounts will be calculated by staff at the processing sites and verified by City of Chicago staff before rebate checks will be mailed.

In cases where City debt is identified, the rebate amount will be applied to the debt.

The combined rebate amount is capped the lesser of $1,000 or the amount of the increase of the City of Chicago portion of the property tax increase.

Application Process:

When applying for the standard rebate, senior supplement, and/or enhanced grant at any one of the processing sites, please bring the following documents:

  • Second installment (received this summer) of most recent property tax bill
  • 2015 Federal Income Tax Return (if you were required to file a 2015 Federal Income Tax Return) or 2015 Social Security Award Letter
  • Illinois driver’s license, Illinois state identification card or other local government issued picture identification such as a passport or consulate issued identification

If applying for the enhanced grant, please also bring documentation that proves any of the extraordinary hardship factors that are listed in the enhanced grant section.

Where do I apply?

Eligible Chicago homeowners can apply for the standard rebate, senior supplement, and/or the enhanced grant at any of the over 20 neighborhood processing locations through Friday, December 30, 2016.

The following lists each neighborhood processing location and hours of operation:

Address Location Days and Hours of Operation*
1530 W. Morse Ave. Northside Community Development Corporation M-F 9am-4pm
3401 W. Foster Ave. Chicago Public Library M & W 10-5; T &Th 12-7; F & Sa 9-4
1011 W. Lawrence Ave. North Side Community Federal Credit Union Tues-F 10am-2pm Last day is 12/21
6100 W. Irving Park Rd. Chicago Public Library M & W 12-7; T & Th 10-5; F & Sa 9-4
5120 N. Broadway South-East Asia Center M-F 8:30am-5pm
3160 N. Milwaukee Ave. City of Chicago Senior Center M-F 830am-330pm; Sa 9am-3pm
1922 N. Pulaski Rd. Spanish Coalition for Housing M-Th 9am-6pm; F-Sa, 9am-12pm
3541 W. North Ave. Latino United Community Housing Association M-F 9am-5pm
721 N. LaSalle St. Catholic Charities M-F 8:30am-11am; 1pm-3pm
121 N. LaSalle St. City Hall Room 107 M-F 11am-6pm; Sa 10am-5pm
10 S. Kedzie Ave. City of Chicago Community Center M-F 9am-4pm
5615 W. Race Ave. Chicago Public Library M & W 12-7; T & Th 10-5; F & Sa 9-4
2141 S. Tan Ct. Chinese American Service League M-F 9am-4pm
1818 S. Paulina St. The Resurrection Project M-F 11am-6pm; Sa 10am-5pm
2311 S. Kedzie Ave. Chicago Public Library M & W 10-5; T &Th 12-7; F & Sa 9-4
4314 S. Cottage Grove Ave. City of Chicago Community Center M-F 9am-4pm
4600 S. Wood St. The Resurrection Project M-F 9am-6pm;
6155 S. Pulaski Greater Southwest Development Corporation M-F 9am-4pm
657 W. 63rd Street Englewood Senior Center M-F 8:30am-3:30pm
2601 W. 63rd St. Greater Southwest Development Corporation M-F 9am-4pm Last day is 12/21
845 W. 69th St. Salvation Army M-F 11am-6pm; Sa 10am-5pm
1120 W. 79th St. Catholic Charities M-F 8:30am-11am; 1:30pm-3pm
1140 W. 79th St. City of Chicago Community Center M-F 9am-4pm
1000 E. 73rd St. Chicago Public Library M & W 12-7; T & Th 10-5; F & Sa 9-4
8650 S. Commercial Ave. City of Chicago Community Center M-F 9am-4pm
8530 S. Kedzie Ave. Chicago Public Library M & W 12-7; T &Th 10-5; F & Sa 9-4
1350 W. 89th St. Chicago Public Library M & W 10-5; T &Th 12-7; F & Sa 9-4
3710 E. 106th St. Chicago Public Library M & W 12-7; T & Th 10-5; F & Sa 9-4
830 W. 119th St. Chicago Public Library M & W 12-7; T & Th 10-5; F & Sa 9-4

*All sites are closed on Christmas Eve (12/24) and the day after Christmas (12/26).

Map of the neighborhood processing locations.

Please bring all required documentation to processing locations when applying. Applications will be available at the City’s processing locations. Please arrive at a processing center no later than 45 minutes before the scheduled closing time to ensure that your application is processed that same day.

To expedite the application process, you may also download, print, and complete the application in advance. Bring the completed application to the processing location along with required documentation.

Supplemental Information:

Frequently Asked Questions:

When will I know if I am approved for any of the rebates?

When you submit your application at one of the neighborhood processing locations, you will be notified whether your request has been denied or whether your application has been conditionally approved. Depending on demand, please allow for wait time for your application to be processed.

Will I be provided with anything as proof that my application was accepted for a rebate?

If the application processer at the processing center determines that you are eligible for a rebate, the application processor will provide you with a Conditional Approval Form that will provide a summary of the rebate amounts you are conditionally approved for. Please retain a copy of this Conditional Approval Form for your records.

If my application is approved, why is my application only “conditionally approved?”

The application is only conditionally approved, because the agencies processing your application will only review your application for eligibility. The City will provide the final approval after confirming whether or not debt is owed to the City.  The City will also audit applications to confirm eligibility.  Receipt of a conditional approval form does not guarantee acceptance of rebate applications.

Payment will be sent to you by the City.

Will I be receiving a check for my rebate? Or a gift card?

All payments will be in the form of a check to the homeowner.

What happens if I owe debt to the City?

  • If you owe debt to the City, the City will apply the amount of the grant to the debt that is owed to the City. For example:
  • If you are conditionally approved for a rebate of $150 and you owe $150, you will not receive a rebate (but your $150 debt will be cleared).
  • If you are conditionally approved for a rebate of $150 and you owe $100, you will receive a rebate of $50 (and your $100 debt will be cleared).
  • If you are conditionally approved for a rebate of $150 and you owe $200, you will not receive a rebate (but the $150 rebate will be applied to your debt leaving a balance of $50).

Homeowners will be notified regarding the application of the rebate amount to their outstanding City debt.

What happens if I owe debt but I have entered into a payment plan with the City or if I am challenging the debt and have a pending judicial or administrative hearing?

You will receive the grant amount in full; the rebate amount will not be applied to any of this debt.

How long will I have to wait to receive a check once my application has been approved?

If the City approves your application, and if you do not owe any debt to the City (or if you owe debt to the City but have entered into a payment plan), you can expect payment within eight weeks.

I don’t have a copy of my tax bill. Where can I get one?

Homeowners can find a copy of your tax bill on-line from the Cook County Treasurer’s Office at http://www.cookcountytreasurer.com/taxingdistrictsearchbypin.aspx. You can also contact the Cook County Treasurer’s Office at (312) 443-5100 or at 118 North Clark Street – Room 112.

Am I eligible for the Senior Supplement if I turned 60 after January 1, 2016?

No. You must have turned 60 on or before January 1, 2016.

Can I mail in my application or apply online?

No. The application requires a review of personal information for verification of income and residency and a rebate calculation. This cannot be done safely through postal mail or online.

Can I schedule an appointment?

No. All applicants will be assisted on a first-come first-served basis at each of the processing centers. Many processing centers have weekend and evening hours.

The property owner has executed a power of attorney for property, can the agent submit the application for the property owner?

If the power of attorney is valid, the agent can submit the application for the property owner. The rebate, if any, will be made out in the name of the property owner and mailed to the property address. I made more than $75,000 in 2015, but I am now making less than $75,000. Am I eligible for a rebate? No. The income requirements for the program are for tax year 2015.

Will this program be offered again at a later date?

This is a one-time program.

How long will I be at the processing center?

The waiting times will vary. It is important, however, that you arrive at a processing center no later than 45 minutes before the scheduled closing time to ensure that your application is processed that same day.

Will I owe income tax on the property tax rebate?

Possibly.  Homeowners receiving a rebate should check with their tax preparer or the IRS before finalizing the 2016 tax return.

Chicago. “Chicago Property Tax Rebate Program.

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Edward Winfrey

Edward S. Winfrey is the Founder/CMO of Nikindi Business Solutions (NBS Global). NBS Global is a marketing Consulting firm located in Chicago Illinois. We at NBS Global specialize in everything in the marketing dimension. We conduct all marketing activities and also function as an external marketing department for some firms. An "external marketing department (EMD)" is when a consultant firm develops a marketing department for the purpose of establishing a marketing department to later turn the duties over to group of new internal employees who will become the primary MKT department once they are trained properly on the new activities, strategies and tactics that were designed and created my the consultant firm.