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Cook homeowners could save on next tax bill under legislation sent to Gov. Quinn

Updated: April 14, 2013 6:44PM

Cook County senior citizens could save about $200 annually on their property tax bills — and younger homeowners a smaller amount — if Gov. Quinn signs new legislation passed last week.

The legislation passed last week by the Illinois General Assembly calls for raising exemptions for older homeowners across the state in an effort to hold down tax bills.

The so-called homestead exemption in Cook County for senior citizens would rise from $4,000 annually to $5,000, said Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios.

“It’ll affect the bills going out this year,” Berrios said.

Senior citizens in other parts of the state will see their exemptions increase the same amount, though that change will take effect with tax bills sent out next year.

The bill marks the first increase in the senior homestead exemption since 2007.

But exemption for other Cook County homeowners also would rise to help offset an expiring tax break.

The new bill would raise the maximum exemption for county property owners from $6,000 to $7,000 annually, Berrios said.

That could save Cook County homeowners about $120 annually on their property tax bills, he said.

Berrios said he expects Quinn to approve the tax changes.

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