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CHICAGO — The City says it has $19 million in property tax rebates that still have to be claimed by Chicago homeowners.

Last summer, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City Council authorized a $20 million rebate program aimed at households earning less than $75,000 a year. The average rebate is $150.The mayor paid for the rebate using $20 million the city got from selling the Chicago Skyway.

But people aren’t applying.

Since the program launched Oct. 1, city officials say only 11,000 homeowners, or 7 percent of eligible people, have applied. The program has not caught on. While it’s an effort to offset the pain of a massive property tax hike, the relief is not tied to residents’ property tax bill, and taxpayers are required to go to a special city office and apply for the exemption in person.

If you’re interested in applying, here’s what you need to know:

  • You must apply in person at one of 26 locations across the city
  • You have to bring your most recent property tax bill.
  • Your 2015 Federal Income Tax Return or 2015 Social Security Award Letter
  • And State ID.

The application deadline was tomorrow, but the mayor has extended it until Dec. 30, he says, so that working and middle-class families collect the extra money this holiday season. Rebate checks for the people who did apply will go out this week. For everyone else, there’s still time.