Property owners in Riverside Township may now file assessed valuation appeals with the Cook County Assessor’s Office thru March 3, 2015. Township Assessor Fran Sitkiewicz will hold a property tax seminar at the Riverside Public Library on Thursday, Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. and again in the evening at 7 p.m. Please bring a copy of your most recent property tax bill if you have specific questions or concerns.

The Riverside Township Assessor’s Office is available to help taxpayers determine the best reason for filing an appeal, find comparables and complete the appropriate forms. To further assist property owners, office hours will be extended thru Feb. 28. The extended hours are Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Accommodations can be made for those needing an appointment at alternative times. The Riverside Township Assessor can be reached by phone at 708-447-7700 or email at Appointments are encouraged but not necessary.

All property owners who qualify for senior citizen exemptions and homeowner exemptions should file their applications now. Once a homeowner exemption is applied for it automatically renews every year. However, residents who purchased their homes in 2013 need to file for a first-time homeowner exemption. The senior citizen exemption is available for owner-occupied residents who turned 65 in 2014. The senior freeze exemption provides some seniors with additional savings if the combined income of all members of the household is less than $55,000 and if the senior has been owner-occupant of the property since January 1, 2013. The due date for senior exemptions was extended to April 1. Applications can be obtained from Riverside Township Assessor and Cook County Assessor.    

The rules regarding senior citizen exemptions can be confusing when a senior moves. To avoid erroneous senior citizen exemptions, it is important to understand the eligibility rules. Contact the Riverside Township Assessor’s office for assistance. 

Finally, senior citizens struggling with property taxes can defer payment of their property taxes until their homes are sold. The tax-deferral program is essentially a loan allowing seniors to defer a maximum of $5,000 per tax year. To qualify, the homeowner must have turned 65 by June 1, 2014, have household income of $55,000 or less, owned and occupied the qualifying residence for at least three years, have equity in their homes that exceeds the sum of property taxes and not owe property taxes for previous years. Further information about this program is available from the Cook County Treasurer’s Office.

The office of Township Assessor Fran Sitkiewicz will assist taxpayers needing more information about these or any other property tax related concern. The Riverside Township Assessor can be reached by phone at 708-447-7700 or email at  

Submitted by the Riverside Townahip Assessor’s Office