Normal-area REALTOR® voices concerns about local property tax hike

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Potential homebuyers will continue to look at other communities with lower property taxes and the Normal economy will continue to suffer, said Illinois REALTORS® Treasurer Ed Neaves after the Normal Town Council voted to raise property taxes earlier this week.

Ed Neaves

In the article, “Local realtors warn high property taxes are turning away homebuyers,” Neaves spoke about the reliance of local governments on property taxes and urged them to find alternative sources to pay for rising costs of police and firefighter pensions. He was one of 11 people to address the council at a public hearing Monday night.

Neaves is the managing broker for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder Real Estate in Bloomington and the Immediate Past President for the Bloomington-Normal Association of REALTORS®.

National tax concerns

REALTORS® at the local, state and national levels have a history of protecting and promoting private property rights through advocacy, while educating and serving members and the public. As members of Congress consider tax reform proposals by the House and the Senate, the National Association of REALTORS® has issued a second Call for Action for REALTORS® across the country. REALTORS® want U.S. Senate and House negotiators to understand that some aspects of the tax reform proposals will hurt many property owners. (In the first Call for Action, more than 35 percent of Illinois REALTORS® responded.)

To participate in the Call for Action and tell federal legislators to protect state and local tax deductions as well as the Mortgage Interest Deduction, go here.

 

Heartland REALTORS® help Salvation Army in Crystal Lake and McHenry

REALTOR® Janice Ricci (left) and event coordinator June Frantz. Ricci is on the Heartland Board of Directors and Frantz is Director of Member Services.

On Dec. 1, more than 40 members of the Heartland REALTOR® Organization and staff rang bells for the Salvation Army in Crystal Lake and McHenry.

The REALTOR® volunteers worked in mostly one-hour shifts at two local grocery stores, and shoppers responded by filling the red kettles with donations.

June Frantz, Heartland staff, coordinated the event.

Heartland’s 2018 officers are: Kris Brown, President; Kathleen Ricketts, President-elect; Becky Kirchner, Treasurer-secretary. Jim Haisler is the association executive.

(This is the second in a series of blog posts showing members of local REALTOR® organizations volunteering during the holiday season.  See the first – from the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS®.)

Springfield takes part in simultaneous statewide flag ceremonies

The Old State Capitol in Springfield was the site of an Illinois Bicentennial flag-raising ceremony shortly after noon. In fact, municipalities all over the state were encouraged to simultaneously participate.

Springfield kicked off its celebration of the Illinois Bicentennial Monday shortly after noon by conducting an Illinois Bicentennial Flag Raising Ceremony on the grounds of the Old State Capitol.

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder was joined by Illinois Bicentennial Springfield Co-chair Pam Van Alstine, an Abraham Lincoln impersonator, media and a crowd of interested observers. The ceremony was held in conjunction with other municipalities’ ceremonies across the state, kicking off a year-long celebration of Illinois’ Bicentennial.

Illinois became a state in 1818.

Maya Ojugbele sang the “Star-Spangled Bannner,” while Damian Kaplan sang “Illinois,” the official state song.

After accepting a proclamation from Langfelder, Lincoln led the crowd in a countdown to the flag raising. For more information on statewide bicentennial events, visit Illinois200.com. For Springfield events, go to IL200Springfield.org.

Record number of Illinois REALTORS® urge Congress to shape tax reform fairly

The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the U.S. federal government.  (Bigstock Photo)

More than a third of Illinois REALTORS® have joined the fight to protect the real estate industry by taking part in a Call for Action on Tax Reform.

The response is the highest recorded for a call for action. The fight is reaching a critical stage as the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the tax plan as early as today. Participate in the CFA before the Senate vote.

The “Reform our tax code AND protect middle class homeowners” call for action helps REALTORS® connect with U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth. REALTORS® want to shape the Senate proposal to protect homeowners, particularly middle-class homeowners, from potential tax increases.

REALTORS® are opposed to parts of the Senate plan, known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” because of those same concerns, and because the proposal could:

  • reduce home values up to 10 percent;
  • eliminate state and local property and income tax deductions;
  • end deductions for interest on home equity loans;
  • change capital gains exemptions on sale of primary residences;
  • eliminate moving expense deductions (except for active duty military personnel);
  • eliminate deductions for personal casualty losses (except for personal casualty losses in federally declared disasters); and
  • create a revenue shortfall of as much as $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

If the Senate approves its own bill, the two chambers of Congress must approve either the House version or the Senate version or negotiate and approve a blended version of the two before the president can sign legislation into law.

More to learn about GOP tax proposal; House plan could impact grad students

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A panel of nonpartisan economic experts has predicted that the GOP tax plan will fail to help the economy grow significantly in the next 10 years and will add to the national debt in the process, reported Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn Wednesday.

The panel responded to two questions posed by the Initiative for Global Markets at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Read “Actual experts confirm that the GOP tax plan is a dud.”

Other expert assessments included:

  • a Bloomberg poll of 26 economists,
  • Penn Wharton Budget Model Team at the University of Pennsylvania’s graduate business school,
  • Tax Policy Center in Washington, D.C. and
  • the Congressional Budget Office.

Read the entire column.

Other tax reform headlines include: