CITY HALL — Chicagoans eligible for a property tax rebate to ease the burden of last year's massive tax hike have until Friday to apply in person to get money back.
The deadline to apply for the program was extended for a month to ensure "that even more eligible working- and middle-class families are able to apply for a rebate in time for the holiday season," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.
The program offers rebates of $25 to $200 to homeowners based on the increase in the city's portion of their most recent property tax bill and their household income. Senior citizens who are longtime homeowners could qualify for an additional rebate.
As of Dec. 13, only 11 percent of eligible Chicago homeowners have applied for the rebate — totaling approximately $1.9 million, said Budget Director Alexandra Holt.
When the effort was launched Oct. 1, city officials expected the rebate program would return $20 million to 155,000 households earning less than $75,000. The average rebate was expected to be $150, officials said.
Because so few Chicagoans applied for the rebate, the City Council agreed Dec. 14 to use $1.3 million of the funds set aside for the rebate to defend immigrants threatened with deportation under President-elect Donald Trump.
Chicagoans must apply — in person — for a rebate on their property taxes at one of 26 locations, including City Hall, officials said. Applicants must appear in person for the rebate because of sensitive nature of the documents required, officials said.
The rebate is designed to help residents cope with a $589 million property tax hike — the largest tax increase in Chicago history — touted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel as the only way to fill the city's massive deficit and shore up pensions for police officers and firefighters.
To check whether you are eligible for the program, review the list of requirements.
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