This program allows persons 65 years of age and older, who have a total household income of less than $55,000 and meet certain other qualifications, to defer all or part of the real estate taxes and special assessments on their principal residences. The deferral is similar to a loan against the property's market value. A lien is filed on the property in order to ensure repayment of the deferral. The State of Illinois pays the property taxes and then recovers the money, plus 6 percent annual interest, when the property is sold or transferred. The deferral must be repaid within one year of the taxpayer’s death or 90 days after the property ceases to qualify for this program. The maximum amount that can be deferred, including interest and lien fees, is 80 percent of the taxpayer’s equity interest in the property; limited to $5,000 per year. To apply for real estate tax deferrals, Forms PTAX-1017-TD, Application for Deferral of Real Estate/Special Assessment Taxes, and PTAX-1018-TD, Deferral of Real Estate/Special Assessment Tax Deferral and Recovery Agreement, must be completed. Applications must be received by March 1 in order to defer the upcoming tax bill. To find out more about the program please read this down loadable pamphlet or contact the Treasurer's office at 217-753-6800.