Strategic Wealth Partners was acquired by Kovitz Investment Group Partners, LLC ("Kovitz"), a registered investment adviser with the SEC on May 1, 2024. Strategic Wealth Partners is now a division of Kovitz and its registered investment adviser. Materials created prior to this date were created by Strategic Wealth Partners and are accurate as of the time of publishing.

Are You Overlooking Ways to Save on Your Real Estate Taxes?

I saved my son hundreds of dollars and I feel like a hero.  In truth, it was very easy. But he thinks I’m a genius (at least for the moment).

It all started with an urgent text he sent me after receiving his first real estate tax bill since purchasing his townhouse. He didn’t understand how his real estate taxes increased so much over the previous owner. I had him read me his Property Index Number (PIN) and I looked up his unit on the assessor’s website. I quickly determined that he had not been given the Homeowner’s Exemption and I instructed him to go to his township assessor’s office and apply for the exemption.

It occurred to me that he is not alone in this situation. How often do we check that we are receiving all the exemptions we are entitled to, as well as making sure that the information concerning our home is correct?

Trigger Events

Each county has its own set of regulations. However, there are common exemptions (discounts) available. Events that should trigger a fresh review of your exemptions include:

  • Have you recently moved? Check to make sure you are receiving the Homeowner’s Exemption if the new property is your principal residence. Most counties require that you occupied your home as of January 1st of the tax year in question.
  • Has one person in your household turned 65? You may be entitled to the Senior Exemption.  Some counties, such as Cook County in Illinois, require you to reapply every year for this exemption. Lake County, Illinois, however, does not require an annual renewal.
  • Are you a returning veteran or disabled veteran? Most counties have a Disabled Veteran Exemption and some have a Returning Veterans Exemption.
  • Did you recently make home improvements? You may be eligible for a Home Improvement Exemption which will prevent your assessed valuation from increasing for a specified number of years.

Action Items

  1. Review exemptions: Visit the website for your County Assessor or County Treasurer’s office to see that you are receiving all the exemptions available to you. Don’t forget that many of these exemptions are applied every year, so the savings can really add up.
  2. Make sure your home details are reported correctly: Generally, items such as number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, basement, garage, frame, or brick construction and fireplaces will affect your assessed valuation and ultimately the amount of your tax bill.
  3. Don’t wait until you receive your next tax bill: Take a page from my son who reacted right away. If you wait until you receive your next tax bill, you may lose a year of savings. It is easy to check your status online. If you check your status now, you may have time to take action before the 2nd installment bills are prepared.

I am always happy to share my “Super Mom” moments and hope that this information will save you or a loved one significant dollars over time. As a financial planner at Strategic Wealth Partners, bringing this to your attention is just one of the many ways we like to go the extra mile for our clients.

This article contains general information that is not suitable for everyone. The information contained herein should not be constructed as personalized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Reading or utilizing this information does not create an advisory relationship. An advisory relationship can be established only after the following two events have been completed (1) our thorough review with you of all the relevant facts pertaining to a potential engagement; and (2) the execution of a Client Advisory Agreement. There is no guarantee that the views and opinions expressed in this article will come to pass.  Investing in the stock market involves gains and losses and may not be suitable for all investors. Information presented herein is subject to change without notice and should not be considered as a solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Strategic Wealth Partners (‘SWP’) is an SEC registered investment advisor with its principal place of business in the State of Illinois. The brochure is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory services, views on the market, and investment philosophy. Any subsequent, direct communication by SWP with a prospective client shall be conducted by a representative that is either registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration in the state where the prospective client resides. For information pertaining to the registration status of SWP, please contact SWP or refer to the Investment Advisor Public Disclosure website (

For additional information about SWP, including fees and services, send for our disclosure brochure as set forth on Form ADV from SWP using the contact information herein. Please read the disclosure brochure carefully before you invest or send money (

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