Senior Freeze ReleaseThe office of Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios has mailed Senior and Senior Freeze Exemption renewal applications for Tax Year 2016. Savings from these exemptions will appear as deductions on the 2017 Second Installment Property Tax Bills mailed this summer.

Nearly 300,000 applications were mailed to seniors who received the exemptions last year. The application deadline is Wednesday, February 8th and it is imperative that seniors return their application(s) in order to receive their exemption savings on their tax bills.

The Senior Exemption application is part of a booklet sent to eligible seniors. The booklet also contains the separate, income-based Senior Freeze Exemption application.

Seniors receiving the Senior Citizen Exemption automatically receive the Homeowner Exemption. Seniors receiving the Senior Freeze Exemption automatically receive both the Homeowner and Senior Citizen Exemptions.

Eligible seniors who have never applied for the Senior and/or Senior Freeze Exemptions in the past may visit the Assessor's web site at and download an application or contact the Assessor's Office at 312-443-7550 and request a form be mailed to them. Applications for the Homeowner Exemption are also available online. Applications for additional exemptions administered by the Assessor's Office will be available within the next few weeks.




Category: In The News

Senate Democrats Support VeteransIllinois veterans will benefit from several new laws that were initiated and passed by Senate Democrats this year, including measures to ensure they receive help for substance abuse, PTSD, business start-ups and more.

Because of legislation sponsored by Senator Melinda Bush of Grayslake, Illinois drivers will have an opportunity to support veterans’ homes, and veterans will have more options for treatment of addictions. Also, local veterans’ assistance commissions will have greater ability to partner with drug courts.

Senator Laura Murphy of Des Plaines passed legislation making it a petty offense to falsely impersonate a veteran in Illinois.

Illinois National Guard members will be able to have a veteran designation on their Illinois identification cards because of a measure sponsored by Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) that was signed into law.

Legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant of Shorewood will help Illinois veterans become business owners. The new law creates a program that offers business loans to veterans through the Illinois Finance Authority, similar to programs that already exist in Illinois for agribusiness and farming endeavors.

Finally, Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez of Chicago is continuing her push for deported veterans to be returned home to the United States. Martinez passed a Senate resolution encouraging the U.S. president and members of Congress to return veterans who have been deported to their families and communities in the United States.


Category: In The News

Human Trafficking Task Force PhotoMajority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) was appointed by Illinois Senate President John Cullerton to the state’s Human Trafficking Task Force yesterday.

“There have been too many victims in Illinois and more has to be done to address this problem,” Martinez said. “I look forward to working with members of the task force on developing strategies for preventing human trafficking and protecting the rights and safety of victims.”

According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, there have been 837 cases of human trafficking in Illinois since 2007.

The task force will conduct a study on human trafficking in Illinois and hold hearings to develop a state plan to address human trafficking. A report of recommendations must be submitted to the governor and General Assembly by June 30, 2017.

Martinez and other members of the task force will serve without compensation. The task force was created by HB 2822, legislation Martinez co-sponsored that was signed into law this summer.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center toll-free hotline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-373-7888 to speak with a specially trained Hotline Advocate. Support is provided in more than 200 languages.

Category: In The News

Hispanic Heritage MonthHispanic Americans have made great contributions to the United States through the generations, two Democratic state senators said in a new video highlighting National Hispanic Heritage Month.

“We are a hard-working community. We believe in the American dream, and we will work hard to make sure our families and our communities are prosperous,” said Senator Iris Y. Martinez of Chicago.

Martinez has represented some of Chicago’s most diverse neighborhoods in the Illinois Senate since 2003. She was the first Hispanic woman elected to the Senate and was the first to serve as assistant majority leader of the chamber. She also leads the Latino Caucus and is a tireless advocate for immigrants, children and the middle class.

Chicago Senator Omar Aquino, who joined the Senate on July 1, is a millennial of Puerto Rican descent who said he is proud of the influence his people have had on the United States through the years.

“Hispanic heritage and values for me are American values,” Aquino said. “The Hispanic community has been part of the United States since its inception, and we continue to add to those values, be it through our food, our music or our family values.”

By the numbers:

•              Illinois has the fifth-largest Hispanic population in the country – about 2.2 million people.

•              About 17 percent of all Illinois residents identify as Hispanic, giving the Prairie State the 10th largest Hispanic statewide population share nationally, according to the Pew Research Center and the 2014 American Community Survey.

•              Nearly 30 percent of Chicago’s population was Hispanic or Latino in 2010, according to the U.S. Census.

•              New projections from the Brookings Institution suggest Hispanic children will comprise 25 percent of Illinois’ population by 2020 and 36 percent of the population by 2060.


Category: In The News

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