A Message from Your Township Assessor


In the true spirit of local government, the staff in the Hanover Township Assessor's Office should be your first level of support for questions regarding the Cook County property tax process.

We are open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30AM to 4:30PM at our main office in Bartlett. On Tuesdays, we are open from 8:30AM to 6PM. 

From billing to exemptions, our knowledgeable staff is prepared to provide answers to any questions or concerns you may have. We look forward to serving you.
 

Sincerely,
Thomas S. Smogolski, SRA, CIAO
Hanover Township Assessor

 

Please click here for information on SB41 - Amendment 3 Bill Summary from the Cook County Assessor's Office. 


Posted: May 6, 2014

 

Board of Review Completes 2013 Appeals Session Early; Positioning Tax Bills to Meet Statutory Deadline for Third Straight Year

Please click here to read further.

 

 

Posted: January 15, 2014

 

SENIOR CITIZENS SEEKING TAX RELIEF CAN DEFER UP TO $5,000 IN PROPERTY TAXES PER YEAR

Contact Person:  Thomas S. Smogolski

 

Senior citizens struggling with property taxes can defer payment of their property taxes until their homes or condominiums are sold.  According to Hanover Township Assessor Thomas S. Smogolski, the Senior Citizen Tax Deferral Program allows seniors to defer as much as $5,000 of their property tax bill every year.

To qualify for the deferral program, seniors must have annual household income of less than $55,000, have equity in their homes that exceeds the sum of property taxes deferred, and have lived in their homes for three years.  Small multi-family properties such as two-flats that generate rental income are not eligible for the program.  Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, whose office administers the program, has set a March 1 deadline for deferral applications. 

The tax deferral program is essentially a loan from the state that is assessed simple interest of 6% per year.  To assure repayment, a lien is placed on the senior’s home that will prevent it from being sold until the loan is paid.

“Having a lien placed on a home is often considered a bad thing.  But a home mortgage is also a lien on the home, and no one views mortgages in a negative light.  Liens, whether for mortgages or property taxes, are merely designed to ensure that the lent money is repaid,” Smogolski said.

There are some circumstances, however, where senior citizens might not want a lien on their homes.  Seniors uncertain about whether to apply can speak with the Township Assessor’s office, but should also consider discussing the matter with legal advisers, financial advisers or family members.

Smogolski advises those interested in the deferral program to apply for other tax benefits available to senior citizens.  “If you are eligible for the deferral, you should also be eligible for the senior freeze and the senior homestead exemption.  By applying for the other senior benefits, you will reduce your property tax liability, which reduces the deferred tax that will eventually be repaid.”

 

Seniors with additional questions about the deferral can call the Hanover Township Assessor’s office at (630) 837-0301.  

 

Posted: January 15, 2014

APPLICATIONS FOR SENIOR PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS MAILED; ALL SENIORS MUST APPLY TO RENEW THEIR EXEMPTIONS

Contact Person:  Thomas S. Smogolski
Hanover Township Assessor,
(630)  837-0301

 

Hanover Township senior citizens received renewal applications for senior citizen property tax exemptions earlier this week, and will have until February 5 to return them to the Cook County Assessor’s office.  Local senior citizens should feel free to call the office of Hanover Township Assessor Thomas S. Smogolski for help completing the forms.

Eligibility for Senior Citizen Exemptions.  There are two senior citizen tax exemptions:

1)         The Senior Exemption, available to all seniors regardless of income, reduces property taxes by about $550.  It is available to any owner-occupied residential property whose owner was born in 1948 or earlier. 

2)         The Senior Freeze provides some seniors with additional savings if the combined income of all members of the household is less than $55,000, and if the senior has been an owner-occupant of the property since January 1, 2012.

The senior applications that have been mailed are for 2013 property taxes, which are paid in calendar year 2014.  The savings from the exemptions will appear on the second installment tax bills that will likely be mailed in July of 2014.Law on Erroneous Exemptions.  A new law requires taxpayers to repay tax savings received from tax exemptions that they are not eligible for.  If a senior citizen recently died or moved, the property may not be eligible for a senior exemption this year. 

If the senior resided at the property at any time during 2013, the property will be eligible for the 2013 senior citizen exemptions for taxes paid in calendar year 2014.  But the property will not be eligible for senior exemptions on the 2014 taxes (paid in 2015), unless the senior left a surviving spouse who was sixty-five or older.  A surviving spouse who completes an application may continue receiving the senior exemptions.

Information for Seniors not Receiving Mailings.  Homeowners who were born in 1948 turned sixty-five in 2013, and thus are likely to be eligible for one of the senior exemptions for the first time.  “Taxpayers who recently turned sixty-five will not receive application forms when the senior renewal forms are mailed,” Assessor Smogolski said. “I encourage such individuals to call my office to obtain the forms and information necessary to receive the senior benefits.  The forms are also available online at www.CookCountyAssessor.com.”  

 

 

 


Posted: July 18, 2013

Governor Signs Exemption Fraud

Legislation Developed by Assessor Berrios

Measure Estimated to Generate More than $65 Million for Taxing Bodies in the First Year

 

CHICAGO – Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios announced that his exemption fraud legislation, which a nationally recognized expert estimated may recover $65 million for taxing bodies in the first year, was signed by Governor Quinn yesterday.

Berrios thanked the members of his staff who worked tirelessly for two and a half years on this issue. The Assessor also acknowledged the support of members of the Illinois General Assembly for their bipartisan support, especially Senator Muñoz, Representative Zalewski and the 21 other House and Senate cosponsors, along with Governor Quinn for acting quickly and signing the important measure.

The final result reflected a cooperative effort of the Cook County Assessor, the Illinois State and Chicago Bar Associations, the Suburban Township Assessors Association, the Illinois Realtors Association, the Title Insurance Industry, and Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle.  Because of this collaborative effort, the bill passed the Senate 51-0 and the House 116-0.

“This law was desperately needed, as each year honest taxpayers lose more than $65 million because people cheat or erroneously claim exemptions,” Berrios explained. “We continue to discover taxpayers who are claiming multiple exemptions and we did not have a law in place to both deter them or to help recover the money they’ve unfairly received.”

By law, a person is allowed to collect an exemption only on the home that is his or her primary residence.  This new law will give the Cook County Assessor the means to recoup funds from those who have improperly received homeowner, senior, disabled persons’ or disabled veterans’ exemptions.

Berrios proposed the measure shortly after taking office when his administration noticed the high volume of e-mails and anonymous phone calls complaining about people improperly receiving exemptions. In 95 percent of those cases, the claims were proven to be true.

“We receive over 1,000 anonymous allegations a year,” Berrios said. “But we’ve never had a law with any teeth to go after the cheaters.”

The new exemption fraud law will provide for the collection and distribution of unpaid property taxes, penalties and interest:

·             Erroneous exemption monies recovered will be paid to the original taxing districts.

·             Penalty fees will be credited to the budget of the Cook county Assessor for administrative costs.

·             Interest collected will be paid to the county.

The law also provides an amnesty for individuals who wrongly claimed an exemption. This amnesty period extends until December 31st, 2013 and will allow a person who wrongly claimed one or two erroneous exemptions prior to the 2013 tax year, to repay the amount received from the exemption(s) without penalty or interest or threat of civil and or criminal prosecution.  A taxpayer who claimed 3 or more exemptions in error is not eligible for amnesty.  

Notice of the amnesty was provided in the recently mailed second-installment tax bills and will be published in the newspaper.

 The law is similar to ones in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Michigan, Texas, and Arizona. It allows the chief county assessment officer to administer property tax liens on the homes of those taxpayers who have received undue property tax exemptions.

 “I am extremely proud of the work and extensive research that went into the development of this new exemption fraud law.  It is sure to have a dramatic and positive impact not only on taxing bodies, but on taxpayers throughout the county,” Berrios said. 


 
 
PUBLIC OUTREACH

Interested in having a representative from the Hanover Township Assessor's office come to your association or organization? We can give a presentation on real estate tax related topics, exemptions, and answer questions about filing assessment appeals. Call us at 630-837-0301 or send us an email at assessor@hanover-township.org to schedule a visit.
 
HOMEOWNERS
 
Want to know when assessment notices are mailed, when tax bills will be mailed out or when & where the next Township seminar will be? Send us your email address to assessor@hanover-township.org to join our email list in receiving notifications from our office.

 

 
Property Values are going down...and Property Taxes are going up?!?
By Hanover Township Assessor, Thomas S. Smogolski, SRA, CIAO
 
In spite of the decline in property values over the last few years, property taxes will not be falling for most taxpayers. This is due to increases in government spending, declines in the value of the homeowner and long time occupant exemptions.
 
Can I do anything to reduce my current tax bill?  If you are eligible for a homeowner, senior citizen or other exemption but did not receive one, the Township Assessor’s office can assist you in obtaining a revised bill for a smaller amount. If you have received all exemptions for which you are eligible, you likely will not be able to do anything about your current bill.
 
Can I do anything to reduce future tax bills? Later this year, the Cook County Assessor or Cook County Board of Review will be accepting appeals from Hanover Township residents for next year’s taxes. When appeal dates are announced, residents may call Hanover Township for help in preparing an appeal. 
 
Why aren’t property taxes going down when property values are going down? The main reason property taxes are not falling is that the cost of providing government services is not falling. Property taxes provide most of the funding for public schools and other local services. Typically, the cost of providing these services increases every year by about the rate of inflation.
 
Is every tax bill going to increase by the inflation-level increase in spending?   No. Some properties will face double digit increases in their property taxes this year, while other properties will see smaller tax increases or tax reductions. When all the tax increases and reductions are added together, however, the net increase will match the inflation-level increase in tax levies. 
 
Whose taxes are going up and whose taxes are going down? Because of changes in the homeowner exemption explained below, it is difficult to make general statements about the tax changes for most homeowners. But it is possible to make general statements about tax changes for the following groups: 
 
Seniors receiving the Senior Freeze exemption pay more. The Senior Freeze exemption provides special tax breaks for senior citizens with annual household income of less than $55,000. But the well-intentioned Freeze program does not cope with a declining real estate market very well. This is reflected in the fact that most seniors who have been on the program for a number of years will experience significant tax increases this year. Tax increases for senior joining the program more recently will vary.
 
One might expect that a program called the Senior Freeze would freeze the taxes of senior citizens, but this is not the case. The program instead freezes the equalized assessed value of a senior’s property. When the frozen equalized assessed value is multiplied by a rising tax rate, the result is rising tax bills for Senior Freeze recipients.
 
The large tax increases for Senior Freeze recipients matches the large increases in the local tax rate. This higher tax rate insures that local government receives the revenue it needs to operate in the face of declining property values. But it will cause hardship for some seniors.
 
Homeowners with Rising Assessed Values pay more. Although most homeowners saw a decline in their assessed values at the 2011 reassessment, the assessed values for some homeowners rose. Such homeowners can expect significant tax increases this year.
 
Residential properties with declining assessed values and minimal homeowner exemptions pay less. As explained below, most homeowners this year have smaller tax discounts under the homeowner exemption compared to last year. But residential property owners who are ineligible for a homeowner exemption, or who only received the minimum exemption last year, do not have to worry about declining homeowner discounts. Most such homeowners will see lower taxes this year.
 
Why is my tax discount for the homeowner or long time occupant exemption smaller than last year’s discount?   In 2004, the legislature implemented a complicated new tax exemption known as the 7% assessment cap. The basic premise of the program was that the equalized assessed values of owner-occupied homes should not rise by more than 7% per year. Any increase above 7% was supposed to be tax exempt.
 
At the time the assessment cap was adopted, assessed values were rising rapidly because of what we now recognize as a ‘bubble’ in the housing market. While the bubble was growing, homeowner and long time occupant exemptions were also growing. These large exemptions sought to protect homeowners from large tax increases during those years.
 
But the 7% assessment cap was not designed to address the changes in the housing market after the bubble burst. As a result, much of the value of the homeowner and long term occupant exemptions that had accumulated since 2005 has been wiped out by declining home values.
 
All owner-occupied homes in Hanover Township are still eligible for a minimum homeowner exemption discount worth about $500 to $600, and some will receive exemptions worth more. But for most people, this year’s tax discounts due to exemptions are smaller than last year’s.  
 
What effect does the declining homeowner and long term occupant exemption have on my taxes? Tax bills are determined by multiplying a property’s equalized assessed value (EAV) by the local tax rate. This year, two opposing factors are influencing the EAV of most residential properties. Smaller exemptions are raising the EAV of properties. But falling assessed values due to weakness in the housing market are reducing the EAV of properties. The size of these two opposing factors is different for each property, making it impossible to generalize about the effect of declining exemptions on tax bills.
 
This year’s property tax bills are confusing. First, the cost of providing local government services has increased, notwithstanding the decline in property values stemming from last year’s reassessment. In addition, some of the programs that seek to protect homeowners from rising taxes were designed with a rising housing market in mind, and do not work very well with declining housing markets. The result is that homeowners who may have expected tax decreases will be paying more this year. 

 IMPORTANT ARTICLES ON TAXES

 

Important Resources:

Quick Links

 



Other Web sites and Phone Numbers That May be of Help:
Cook County Assessor's Office
312.443.7550
www.cookcountyassessor.com
 
Cook County Treasurer's Office
312.443.5100
 
Cook County Clerk's Office
312.603.5656
www.cookctyclerk.com  
Cook County Recorder of Deeds 
312-603-5056 
 
Cook County Board of Review 
312-603-5542 

 

 

 

 

Event Photos

Home Owners Seminar 2009

Meet The Staff

Thomas S. Smogolski
Assessor, SRA, CIAO
Senior Residential Appraiser
Certified Illinois Assessing Officer
Phone: 630.837.0301
Fax: 630.837.1059
assessor@hanover-township.org 

Patty Glascott
Chief Deputy Assessor, CIAO
Phone: 630.837.0301  ext 2115
 
Peggy Deyne
Deputy Assessor, CIAO
Phone: 630.837.0301  ext 2116
 
Cindy Christopher
Administrative Assistant
Phone: 630.837-0301 ext 2117
cchristopher@hanover-township.org 

 

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