Senior Freeze tax exemptions not calculated correctly for Cook County
Wayne Township Republican Trustee Jackie Hayden is demanding answers about how as many as 4,000 seniors from Cook County recently received tax bills with errors to the Senior Freeze Portion of their bill.
“The village clerk indicated the Cook County Assessor’s office realizes there is a problem,” Hayden told North Cook News. “We will get to the bottom of this, but first I want to know why seniors haven’t been made aware of the problem to begin with.”
Hayden said she only became aware of it after her mom, who has lived in Mount Prospect for more than 50-years, was personally affected.
“My mother received her second installment tax bill from Cook County and the senior freeze exemptions were not calculated correctly,” she said. “We looked at last year’s tax bill and compared it to this year and saw her senior tax exemption wasn’t included. My mom’s exemption went from a $6,000 cap to around $200, which increased her tax bill to $10,000.”
Hayden said her understanding is of the 4,000 people thus far known to be impacted by the error, about 3,000 of them are from the Wheeling area and the other 1,000 are from the Orland Park area.
“There were about 10 seniors in line scared to death, some of them even crying,” Hayden said of her recent visit to the Wheeling Township Assessor’s Office. “I talked to them all and said we will get to the bottom of this and it will be documented in writing.”
Hayden said she’s already reached out at least two Republican state representatives from the area in hopes that they may be able to help get some answers. More recently, she said she received an email from someone from the Taxpayer Assistance Program at the Wheeling Township Office indicating “the County is aware of the error and is in the process of sending a Certificate of Error Recommended Tax Bill to her.”
According to the email, the certificate serves as a revised tax bill that can be taken to Chase Bank for payment.
“She should not pay her current bill, but should wait for the revised bill which should be received before the third week of July," the email added.
Back in late April, the Chicago Tribune reported about 1,000 DuPage County senior homeowners faced a similar problem when officials sent out notice that a computer error had miscalculated senior tax freeze savings for some area residents.
Those affected were estimated to have overpaid on their first installments payments by an average of $250.