REALTOR® Advocacy Program Defeats West Chicago Transfer Tax Ballot Question

Last week in the city of West Chicago voters were asked to weigh in on a matter that is very important for the protection of private property rights. The municipal referendum asked voters to approve a flat $10 real estate transfer tax in the city. The reason for this proposal is to enable the city to have a mechanism to stop the transfer of a property; this mechanism would work as a means to enforce the city’s other codes regarding “point of sale” inspections, zoning, debt collection (water and sewer bills).

On Election Day (April 5), this measure was soundly defeated by the voters by a margin of 70 percent voting NO and 30 percent voting YES.

REALTORS® believe that no municipality should have this type of enforcement mechanism—the ability to prevent the legal transfer of real property. All municipalities in Illinois are given other tools, spelled out in Illinois Statute, which enable the municipalities to enforce debt collection, zoning and building code violations.

We believe that no municipality should have the authority to stop the transfer of a property. Therefore, the Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) and the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® opposed this ballot measure, and the IAR’s Advocacy Program sent a mail piece to voters in West Chicago prior to Election Day. The piece explained the REALTOR® position and urged a NO vote on the referendum. Had this measure been successful, other municipalities, seeking the same kind of power, might choose to put such a measure on their ballots in future elections. But with the sound rejection by West Chicago voters, other municipalities will think twice before pursuing that.

This entry was posted in Government Affairs, Housing Market, Uncategorized by Mike Scobey. Bookmark the permalink.

About Mike Scobey

Mike Scobey is Assistant Director - Advocacy and Local Issues. He supervises and coordinates the IAR Issue Advocacy Program which includes the coordination and management of Issue Advocacy campaigns, inside research, outside research and polling, legal analyses of local government proposals and public relations/education projects. He is responsible for the production of educational and advocacy pieces related to the local government affairs program. He also oversees the local Governmental Affairs Director (GAD) program which includes serving as a liaison to the local GADs and other staff on issue development and prioritization and overall campaign design. He provides staff support to the Commercial/Industrial/Investment Committee.

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