by: John Irwin, Baird & Warner Broker Associate
If you are planning on doing home renovations, the Cook County Improvement Exemption allows you to increase the value of your home with up to $75,000 worth of improvements without increasing your property taxes for at least four years. Here’s a great Q&A from the Cook County Assessor’s Office.
Who qualifies for a Home Improvement Exemption?
The exemption is available to owners of single-family homes, condominiums, cooperatives and apartment buildings up to six units located in Cook County, Illinois.
How does a Home Improvement Exemption work?
You will automatically receive the exemption when the Cook County Assessor’s Office field checks the building permit for the improvement. A notice will be sent to you after the check is completed.
What if there is damage to my home?
The Home Improvement Exemption can also be used for repair necessitated by structural damage as a result of severe weather conditions, such as flooding.
What is not covered by a Home Improvement Exemption?
The exemption is not granted for loss of personal property, normal weather damage, or routine maintenance. Routine maintenance includes repairs to or replacement of parts that would not increase the value of your property. The following are examples of normal upkeep:
- Repair or replace roofing materials, sidewalks, driveways or fencing
- Insulate and/or add storm windows and doors
- Add or replace gutters and downspouts
- Place siding over existing frame structure
- Add or improve trees, lawns and landscaping
- Paint, decorate, plaster or change exterior ornamentations
- Replace furnace or replace old heating systems with solar heating
- Replace kitchen cabinets, flooring, fixtures
- Replace or add water softener or add larger hot water heater
- Add outdoor lighting, burglar or fire alarms
- Replace electrical systems or plumbing fixtures
- Install above-ground swimming pool or outdoor playground facilities
- Add automatic garage door opener
- Add aluminum soffit and facia
Where can I call to find out if I qualify for a Home Improvement Exemption?
Call the Cook County Assessor’s Office at 312/443-7550.
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