Exemption Policies

General Policies

1. The Board of Review complaint forms and the applicable PTAX form must be fully completed.

2. All documents must be submitted in proper sequence, as provided in the required documents checklist.

3. The Board of Review (BOR) accepts exemption applications for approximately 60 days, two times each year.

4. Applicants should ensure that the PTAX form submitted is the recent version.  The most updated forms are available here-

5. Applicants should ensure that every property identification number(s) being appealed should be present on the Board of Review complaint form, the applicable PTAX form and if a government-owned property, the governmental exemption petition.

6. Applicants should ensure that the date of ownership on the PTAX form matches the date of ownership on the recorded proof of ownership.

7. In order to qualify for a property tax exemption, your organization must be exclusively beneficent and charitable, religious, educational, or governmental and own the property that is used exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, or governmental purposes and not leased or used for profit.  Being deemed as non-profit by the IRS does not automatically qualify an organization for a property tax exemption.

8. Organizations that have purchased an already exempt property must file an exemption application or the property will be placed back on the tax roll.  The IDOR has to confirm that the property remains in exempt ownership and use.

9. For a property to be in exempt use, either the organization’s intended use must be taking place or the organization is taking major steps to put the property towards such use.

10. If a property owner leases a part of their property to a business, the leased portion of the property may be taxable if said portion is not used for purposes deemed exempt.  If the leased portion is used for purposes deemed exempt, both the owner of the property and the organization leasing the property must be considered exempt organizations by the IDOR.

11. If a division, consolidation or other change in permanent index number is contemplated, the Board of Review should be advised at the time of filing.

12. An applicant shall file one application in both of the following situations:

  • a. If multiple parcels were acquired by the same deed.  In this situation, the PTAX 300 must identify any variation of use or characteristic (e.g., leases, photos, affidavits of use) by property identification number and deed;
  • b. If a single parcel was acquired by multiple deeds.

13. An applicant shall file a separate application for each parcel if multiple parcels were acquired by separate deeds, unless all of the following conditions are met:

  • a. The parcels are contiguous;
  • b. All deeds were acquired before the year for which the exemption is now being sought;
  • c. The PTAX-300 form identifies which property identification numbers are associated with each deed;
  • d. The PTAX-300 identifies any variation of use or characteristic (e.g., leases, photos, affidavits of use) by property identification number and deed.

Government Property Policies

14. If the property was acquired via condemnation, the date of ownership is the date the condemnation complaint was filed.

Charitable/Educational Policies

15. Even though an organization may do charitable work, if charitable work is not the organization’s primary purpose, they will not qualify for an exemption.  Some examples include:

  • American Legions,
  • AmVets,
  • Chambers of Commerce,
  • Elks Clubs,
  • Lions Clubs,
  • Rotary Clubs,
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars, and
  • Unions and trade associations

16. If a charity that charges for its services can provide evidence of a documented public policy of providing fee waivers for those that cannot afford the service, an exemption may be recommended.

17. If an application is submitted in which there is a lease between two charitable organizations, the applicant should submit, for both parties, documents supporting the exempt status of the organizations.

Religious Property Policies

18. A minister’s home is likely taxable if the church fails to require the minister to live in the residence as a condition of his employment or if the housing is part of the minster’s compensation.