State Senator John J. Millner
District 28 - Republican

Photograph of  Representative  John                 J. Millner            (R)
local   Springfield

2580 Foxfield Rd.
St. Charles, IL  60174

  105 State Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
630/524-9250 phone 217/782-8192
Fax: 630/524-9251 fax 217/782-4079
Date:  April 13, 2006
For Immediate Release

Senior citizens to keep assessment freeze benefits

Springfield , IL – Both legislative chambers have overwhelmingly approved legislation aimed at providing significant financial relief for many Illinois seniors, according to State Senator John J. Millner (R- Carol Stream).

The legislation (HB 4789) is a response to a recent Illinois Supreme Court decision striking down a 1994 law which created the senior citizen assessment freeze. The Court ruled in December last year that the 1994 law violated the state’s single subject requirements due to the fact that so many varying changes in Illinois law were included in one piece of legislation.

House Bill 4789 restores the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption to ensure that seniors will be able to claim the exemption when they pay their property taxes this year. The Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption essentially allows qualified seniors to have their assessments on their homes frozen for as long they own their home.

The legislation also increases the income limit to qualify for the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption from $45,000 to $50,000. It also increases the senior citizens homestead exemption from $3,000 to $3,500.

To qualify for the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption, a person must be at least 65 years old, must meet residency requirements, and must not make more than $45,000 annually (if signed into law, House Bill 4789 would increase the income restrictions to $50,000). Senior citizens must apply for the exemption each year, but the assessment freeze is based on the assessment level at the time a senior citizen first becomes qualified for the program.

Having passed both chambers unanimously, House Bill 4789 now moves to the Governor’s desk for consideration. If signed, the bill would go into effect immediately.