County residents who claim homeowner exemptions they do not deserve
will now face fines under a new law Gov. Pat Quinn signed this week.
The move will help rein in
some $65 million lost annually due to people claiming undeserved exemptions, according to Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios' office. The Illinois General Assembly passed the measure
back in May.
The assessor's office will start penalizing
those who claim illegal homeowner, senior, veteran or disabled persons' exemptions, and residents will see a lien
against their home if fines are not paid after more than 60 days. Those who owe up to two wrongly-claimed exemptions dating back prior to the 2013 tax year have until December 31 to pay them free of penalties.