New program offers up to 100% abatement on property taxes to surviving spouses
By Josh Bootsma
LANSING, Ill. (January 28, 2020) – Cook County Residents are now eligible to apply for the Surviving Spouse Tax Abatement, which allows spouses of a fallen police officer, soldier, or rescue worker to receive up to a 100% abatement on their property taxes.
The program is new in 2020 to Cook County residents and applications are now available on the Cook County Board of Review’s website. They are also available at Board of Review’s downtown office at 118 N. Clark Street, Room 601 or over the phone at 312-603-5542.
Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Michael Cabonargi told Lansing Village Clerk Vivian Payne in a letter, “the Board of Review will consider applications and supporting evidence—hold a hearing if needed—and recommend qualifying applicants for final approval. If approved and admitted into the program, the surviving spouse may reaffirm the facts remain the same and continue in the program yearly.”
Surviving spouses of a fallen police officer, solider, or rescue worker—who have not remarried—are eligible to apply for the program.
The Illinois Property Tax Code defines a “fallen police officer, soldier, or rescue worker” as “an individual who dies: (1) as a result of or in the course of employment as a police officer; (2) while in the active service of a fire, rescue, or emergency medical service; or (3) while on active duty as a member of the United States Armed Services, including the National Guard, serving in Iraq or Afghanistan excluding any individual whose death was the result of that individual’s own willful misconduct or abuse of alcohol or drugs.”
Properties eligible for the abatement program must not be occupied by more than two families and must be used as the principal residence of the surviving spouse. In addition, the property must have been owned by the fallen officer, soldier, or rescue worker or his/her spouse at the time of his/her death. The property also must have been acquired by the surviving spouse within two years of the death of the officer, soldier, or rescue worker.
Copies of the following documents are needed as part of the application:
- Current driver’s license or passport
- Current utility bill
- Marriage certificate
- Death certificate
- Deed to current residence
- Application for Death Benefits Pursuant to Line of Duty Compensation Act
More information and application
To learn more about the Surviving Spouse Tax Abatement, visit the Cook County Review Board’s website. A direct link to the application for the abatement is available here.
The Cook County Board of Review’s office is located at 118 N. Clark St., Room 601 and its phone number is 312-603-5542.