August 18, 2010

Mayor Daley Emphasizes Tax Relief and Services Specifically Designed for Seniors at Senior Fest

Mayor Believes Seniors Should Have Easy Access to Benefits
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Richard M. Daley today emphasized his commitment to providing senior citizens the tax relief they deserve at the City of Chicago’s 2010 Senior Fest, held at the McCormick Place, South Martin Luther King Drive.
“Seniors have worked hard for many years. They should not have to worry about losing their homes because of inadequate relief. We’ve worked hard to make sure seniors have affordable housing options and are able to stay in the homes they’ve worked so hard for,” said Mayor Daley.
“In 2005, we launched the City’s five-year senior housing plan and set out to create 4,000 units of affordable senior housing by the end of 2010.  To date, 3,895 units of senior housing are in various stages of development, representing 97 percent of the goal,” added the Mayor.
The Mayor has shown a commitment to seniors through the Chicago Tax Assistance Center ( CTAC).
Since 2001, CTAC has helped thousands of seniors with property tax appeals, exemptions and tax relief programs.
In Springfield, Mayor Daley has fought to increase the senior property tax exemption amount, to change the income limit on the senior freeze making more seniors eligible for the program, and to make the exemption process as easy and as understandable as possible.
Mayor Daley also applauded the Illinois State Legislature for the creation and passage of legislation that helps to prevent the financial exploitation of seniors.
Initiated by the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, and introduced in the House by chief sponsor State Representative Art Turner, the  new legislation requires all Illinois financial institutions to train and educate their frontline customer service staff to recognize the signs of elder financial abuse and strengthen the ability of these institutions to protect Illinois seniors and their assets.
“Elder financial abuse---which can include stealing money; misusing bank cards, or forging a signature on pension checks---is frequently linked to other forms of elder neglect, and is estimated to cost Americans tens of billions of dollars annually in healthcare, social services, investigative and legal costs, and lost income and assets,” said the Mayor.
“I want to encourage you all to be cautious about whom you entrust with your finances, and if you feel you have been the victim of a financial crime, report it immediately.”