Talk about confusing. The expanded homeowner’s exemption in Cook County is really hard to understand and worse to explain. The expanded homeowner’s exemption was the county’s way of gradually phasing in the increase in the assessments from the last triennial reassessment.
Basically, the homeowner’s exemption was increased so that, for example, in Palatine, we have the following homeowner’s exemption amounts in the following years:
26,000 – 2008 tax bill issued in 09
20,000 – 2009 tax bill issued in 2010
6,000 – 2010 tax bill issued in 2011
This means that your assessed value is decreased by the amount shown. A 6,000 decrease in the assessed value translates to about a $600.00 reduction in the tax bill.
The Cook County Assessor recently added a new calculator to its website. To use it, you need your Permanent Index Number. Just type in the PIN and the calculator will break down your expanded homeowner’s exemption. It’s actually pretty well done and helpful.