2019 purchase, 2018 property tax has no exemptions

7 Replies | Chicago, Illinois

Purchased a property March of 2019. Previous owner had homeowners, senior and senior freeze, as reflected in the 1st half 2018 property tax bill.

At closing I was credited 2nd half of 2018 property taxes based on all these exemptions. I received the 2nd half 2018 bill recently, it's in my name and all the exemptions are gone. 

I thought since the property was in the previous owner's possession all of 2018, I would pay the taxes based on their exemptions? If not, shouldn't I have been credited the full estimated amount at closing?

If you are living in the house you can get the homeowner and senior exemptions IF the prior owner qualified on January 1, 2019 (meaning he lived there on that date). If true, you should be able to get a certificate of error. Dunno if you get his senior freeze deduction, as that is means tested, and I don't know if it depends on his calendar year 2018, or calendar year 2019, income.

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Originally posted by @Joe Ramirez:

Hi @Davis C.  Sounds like a very similar situation i went through...  check out my post about it here:

https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/664/topics/672346-cook-county-tax-exemption-treatment-on-flip

I was able to get the ball moving by talking directly to the county about my issue.

https://www.cookcountytreasurer.com/contactusbyphone.aspx

Thanks, that was a helpful post, it does sound very similar and gives me hope since the owners were in possession all of 2018.

You said you were working with previous owners to get a refund. Does the county need them to be involved? This may be a problem since the previous owners were in a nursing home and under guardianship of a bank.

I spoke to my attorney, and he's waiting to hear back from seller's attorney. I'll contact the county for more info, and maybe find out who dropped the ball on this.

@Davis C. you should be on the phone with your attorney right now... this happened to me when I bought my first home in Riverside, IL. The previous owners were quite elderly, and they had forgotten to file the senior exemption paperwork. My attorney reached out to theirs, and they went in and filed it. The situation was able to be resolved quite amicably. 

@Davis C. yes the county is requiring that the previous owners apply for the exemptions retroactively.  In the case where the previous owners have since passed away, there was a way to get the refund without getting them involved, but they require you to get a death certificate.  I imagine there might be something similar if they are still alive but unable to file, but you'd have to ask the county and/or your lawyer.