EDWARDSVILLE — In an effort to improve and clarify the process for property owners who have received or who are interested in receiving a General Homestead Exemption, the Assessor’s Office is undertaking an extensive review of the application process, Madison County’s Chief Assessment Officer Joseph Dauderman said.
“The Assessor’s Office follows the laws established by the Illinois Legislature regarding the Homestead Exemption,” Dauderman said. “We want to make sure every property owner eligible to receive the exemption does, but at the same time we want to make sure property owners who are not entitled to the exemption do not receive it.”
Dauderman said not all of the residential properties in Madison County are eligible to receive the Homestead Exemption. The exemption, which reduces the taxable assessed valuation by $6,000, is only available to owner-occupied properties with limited exceptions.
“We are continually looking for ways to make it easier for the public to understand and receive the exemptions for which they are entitled,” Dauderman said.
“Currently, there are approximately 82,000 property owners in Madison County who receive the Homestead Exemption, and that number changes daily as a result of properties being bought and sold,” Dauderman added. “As a result, it is a daily challenge to monitor who should or should not receive the exemption.”
Dauderman said the county runs reports that attempt to identify duplicate exemptions. He said they are working on expanding the reporting and revising documents used on property transactions which will help identify property that does not qualify for an exemption.
According to Dauderman, Madison County residents must reside in the property to receive the Homestead Exemption and must file an application with the Assessor’s Office to receive the exemption.
“However, there are some exceptions,” Dauderman said. “If a renter is leasing a property and paying the property taxes, they are eligible to receive the exemption despite not being listed as the property’s owner. Because of this, it sometimes appears as if one owner is receiving exemptions on multiple properties.”
Other exceptions include properties in a living trust and properties being purchased on a contract-for-deed basis.
“We have cases where a life estate is established by parents and the home in question is put in the name of their child, or children, but the parents continue to live in the house. Despite the name on the property title, the parents are entitled to the Homestead Exemption,” Dauderman said. “In a contract-for-deed situation, the property title remains in the seller’s name but the buyer is eligible for the exemption.”
Dauderman pointed out that property owners interested in obtaining a Homestead Exemption must complete the necessary forms and submit them to the Assessor’s Office.
“The application forms must be submitted. The Assessor’s Office is more than happy to assist any property owner in Madison County obtain exemptions they are entitled to receive and to answer any questions our residents may have.”
In addition to the Homestead Exemption, property taxpayers may also qualify for several other exemptions provided for by Illinois law, such as the senior freeze exemption, the homestead improvement exemption, and the disabled veteran exemption.
For information on the General Homestead Exemption, or any other exemption, property owners should contact the Madison County Assessor’s Office at (618) 692-6270. Information is also available on the Madison County Chief County Assessment Office website, located at www.co.madison.il.us.