FloorShot5SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) will allow the Cook County Assessor to collect back taxes from those who claimed a homestead exemption they were not entitled to under the law.

“Currently, there are no measures in place under the law which will allow the assessor to collect taxes from those who were given a homestead exemption in error,” Munoz said. “This provides that office a means to collect taxes owed to the county.”

Senate Bill 41 allows the Cook County Assessor to collect back taxes from people who claimed homestead exemptions they were not entitled to receive.  Taxpayers will be informed of this with their second installment of their property tax bill. 

This law also allows for an amnesty program through December 31, 2013, where taxpayers could pay amounts they owe without incurring interest or a penalty.

Other safeguards for taxpayers in this law will include no penalty for those who inherited the property from a family member who had received the exemption. In addition, if the taxpayer received the exemption as the result of a clerical error, they would not be liable for the penalties and interest provided they pay the property taxes for the year in question.

Also, if taxpayers receive a notice from the Assessor that they are receiving this exemption in error, they have 30 days to contest the issue with the Cook County Assessor’s Office.

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