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News of the Township
MORAINE TOWNSHIP ASSESSOR TAX TIPS FOR PROPERTY OWNERS

For Immediate Release: May 9, 2009
Contact: Peter J. Koukos, Assessor (Moraine Township)
(847) 432-2100

MORAINE TOWNSHIP ASSESSOR HAS TAX TIPS FOR PROPERTY OWNERS

Moraine Township Assessor Peter J. Koukos urges property owners to be aware of all methods of containing property tax costs: pay on time (bills payable this summer have started arriving); check out the accuracy of your home as listed online by the County and if it's wrong, file early to have it reviewed; and for seniors (age 65 and up), learn about the various homestead exemptions. Furthermore, there will be free educational sessions in May to assist low income seniors with property valuation freeze applications – which are due back by June 30.

"It's really too late to protest this year's 2008 tax bill, payable in 2009," Koukos said recently. "But if a homeowner feels his property valuation should be adjusted in the future, the best place to start is online, on the County's detailed website, with a look at one's own property description.

"Actually, I urge all homeowners in general to go online and check out what the record shows for your property description, to be sure it's accurate."

You can find that page from the Assessor's page on the Moraine Township website at http://morainetownship.org, and clicking on the Quick Links to the Lake County Assessor's Office. The one to choose, Property Tax Assessment Information, sends you to a page that asks for your property address. A photo and description are provided. For direct address for Lake County Assessor's website click here.

"If the description does not match the reality of your home, notify our office immediately to start the review process so we can adjust your valuation before July 15, when we close our books. When the 2009 valuations (for taxes payable in 2010) come out in August, you only have 30 days to file for adjustments," Koukos said.

"I urge homeowners to take a look at the County website and keep in mind the deadlines, to avoid more disappointment with the 2009 tax bills, (payable in 2010). You don't need to spend more money to hire a lawyer to do this; bring facts to our attention, and staff will be happy to assist you."

People turning 65 this year should come to the Township Office at 777 Central Avenue, Highland Park, with appropriate substantiation and apply for the standard "Senior Homestead Exemption" of $4,000 off property valuation. Those in this category who have household incomes below $55,000 per year, are entitled to apply for the "Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption" to freeze their property valuation (not the taxes). Details can be found on the Township's website.

Persons interested in getting assistance with the Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze form may attend meetings held around the County from now through May 27. Applications must be mailed back to the Chief Lake County Assessment Office in Waukegan by June 30. For details, contact the Moraine Township's Assessor's Office at (847) 432-2100.

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