CHICAGO (WBBM) — The Cook County Assessor’s office is mailing out notices to over 300,000 elderly homeowners.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the homeowners are being warned that if they fail to reapply for their senior citizen property tax breaks, they will lose them.

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LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

County Assessor Joseph Berrios says under a new state law, elderly homeowners must reapply every year for their seniors’ and senior freeze exemptions.

“They have not had to do this in the past for the senior exemptions, because we would just roll it over unless we had other information,” Berrios said. “But now, each and every one of them has to reapply.”

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The idea behind the law, which the Illinois General Assembly passed last year, was to prevent fraud involving tax breaks.

Berrios says his office is adept at weeding out abuses.

“There are other methods where we can check on whether a senior is still alive – with the death certificates here in Cook County – or if they’ve moved, we can check that with a transfer declaration,” Berrios said.

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Berrios would like to see the reapplication law repealed. He says it is costing his office $250,000 to mail out applications to the seniors entitled to tax breaks.