CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios announced Wednesday that his office has extended the deadline for the Senior Citizen Exemption and Senior Freeze Exemption renewal applications.

“We are extending the deadline to March 2nd for seniors who bring in their paperwork,” Berrios said. According to the Cook County Assessor’s Office, any application postmarked by Friday, March 2 will be on time.

The original deadline was today — Feb. 7.

More than 270,000 applications were mailed in early January to seniors who received the exemptions last year. However, Berrios said there are still about 80,000 seniors who have yet to apply.

assessor berrios meets with cook county seniors e1518032075776 Berrios Extends Senior Exemptions Application Deadline

Assessor Berrios meets with Cook County seniors. (Photo: Cook County Assessor’s Office)

“I extended the deadline so all seniors have extra time to return their applications to ensure they receive the expanded exemption savings this year,” Berrios said. “It is also important to remember that under Illinois law, seniors are required to reapply annually for both the Senior and Senior Freeze Exemptions.”

Berrios said one of the top concern he hears is that seniors are struggling to make ends meet. He said he will continue to work for greater tax relief for seniors to ensure they can stay in their homes without worrying about the affordability of their property taxes.

Meanwhile, outside his office, Democratic primary challenger Fritz Kaegi was protesting an office he says it up for sale.

“This office has been auctioning lower property tax assessments in exchange for campaign cash,” Kaegi said.

Berrios probably would have denied that if he didn’t deflect questions on that as well as J.B. Pritzger. “This is a government office. If you want to ask me political questions we have to get off premises, OK?”