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FOR RELEASE Friday, December 14, 2018 Information: Maria Pappas (312) 603-6202 Applications for Tax Deferral Due March 1, 2019 Pappas: There’s help for senior citizens struggling to pay Cook County property taxes With prescription prices and utility bills rising faster than Social Security payments, a tax-relief program can help senior citizens who are hard-pressed to pay their property taxes, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas said today. Seniors whose annual household income is $55,000 or less can apply to the Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral Program for loans to cover property tax payments. “When property taxes are due, too many of our elderly are forced to make difficult choices about which bills to pay,” Pappas said. “This program is one way to ease their worries.” The State of Illinois issues the loans, which do not have to be repaid until the property is sold or the homeowner dies. An interest rate of 6 percent per year is charged by the state. The maximum loan is $5,000 per year. To qualify, homeowners must be at least 65 years old by June 1 of the year in which the application is made. To apply: • Download the application from cookcountytreasurer.com • Submit the completed application and copies of the required documents to the Treasurer’s Office • The deadline is March 1, 2019. Applications after that date cannot be accepted • Homeowners must reapply every year