About Julie Sullivan

Julie Sullivan is Director of Legislative and Political Affairs for Illinois REALTORS®. She assists in carrying out the legislative programs and policies of the Association, monitors and provides research and analysis on local, state, and federal legislation impacting the real estate industry, and represents the Association before the General Assembly, other elected officials, and other interest groups. She also prepares and coordinates materials related to the election of candidates for public office. Sullivan writes and edits State Capitol Report, the legislative newsletter of the Association, and contributes to the Illinois REALTOR® Magazine on governmental affairs issues. She also advises and provides staff support to the Public Policy and Governmental Affairs Member Involvement Group, the Realtors® Political Action Committee and various task forces and working groups which are appointed from time to time.

REALTOR®-backed energy efficiency measure signed into law by governor

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the Property Assessed Clean Energy Act (PACE) on Friday, providing property owners an innovative new way to help integrate energy-efficient upgrades into their commercial or industrial properties.

The PACE Act was a key effort of Illinois REALTORS® in the 2017 legislative session, and had passed the Illinois House and Senate with significant support.

The PACE Act allows a city or county to establish a clean energy program and create a PACE area by entering into a voluntary assessment contract with the property owner to finance or refinance energy projects. The repayment of the costs of the energy project are through assessments on the property.

Key safeguards are included in the bill, including:

  • There is a requirement that there be written consent of the existing mortgage holder,
  • Contractors agree to adhere to terms and conditions established by the unit of local government,
  • The property cannot have any delinquencies,
  • The owner must be current on all mortgage debt, and
  • The amount of the assessment in relation to the greater of the assessed value of the property or the appraised value cannot exceed 25 percent.

The act is limited to commercial or industrial properties. It does not apply to single-family homes.

 

PACE bill unanimously approved in Illinois Senate; on to Gov. Rauner

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On Wednesday afternoon, the Illinois Senate unanimously approved House Bill 2831, the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) bill.  The bill will now be sent to the Gov. Bruce Rauner for his consideration/signature.

The legislation creates the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Act to provide for this innovative financing mechanism for specified energy efficiency improvements on commercial and industrial properties. A city or county may establish a clean energy program and create a PACE area by entering into a voluntary assessment contract with the property owner to finance or refinance energy projects.

The repayment of the costs of the energy project are through assessments on the property. Key safeguards include:

  • recording of the voluntary contract,
  • requirement that there be written consent of the existing mortgage holder,
  • contractors agree to adhere to terms and conditions established by the unit of local government,
  • property has no delinquencies,
  • owner is current on all mortgage debt, and
  • amount of the assessment in relation to the greater of the assessed value of the property or the appraised value cannot exceed 25 percent.

General Assembly Update: House Revenue and Finance Committee

Rep. Mike Batinick (HB 6630) and Rep. Jack Franks (House Amendment #2 to SB 1919) presenting identical bills to amend the current Property Tax Extension Limitation Law to include ALL taxing districts including Home Rule units and to lower the extension limitation to zero percent beginning with the 2016 levy year. Further, local units could not vote to opt out. Photo: Julie Sullivan

Action occurred this week on the final two days of the current 99th General Assembly on the issue of property tax relief.

On Monday, the House Revenue and Finance Committee heard testimony and voted on TWO identical measures that amend the existing Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL).

Commonly referred to as the “property tax cap law”, it does not “cap” a property tax bill or a property assessment but it limits the increase in tax extensions on existing property by a taxing district.

The provisions of the law initially began in the collar counties in 1991; Cook County was added in 1994 and ultimately it was extended to apply to other parts of the State by referendum.  IMPORTANT to note is that home rule units were never included in the provisions of the limitation.

The law, since its enactment limited increases in property tax extensions to the lesser of 5 percent or the increase in the Consumer Price Index for the year preceding the levy year.  This limitation was able to be increased by vote of the electors in the community subject to the law.

The two duplicate measures, HB 6630 is sponsored by REALTOR® Representative Mark Batincik (R-Plainfield) and an amendment to SB 1919 is sponsored by Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock) are similar to other measures considered in the 2016 session.

Key provisions the bills limit the increases in property tax extensions to zero percent unless a higher amount is approved by the voters; home rule taxing units will be subject to the limitation; PTELL can no longer be rescinded by referendum.

On Tuesday, the full House passed one of the bills- HB 6630 – on a roll call vote of 76-24-6 which, although too late for consideration by the Senate, is encouraging that debate will continue on the issue of property taxes for the new General Assembly which begins on Wednesday, Jan. 11th.

REALTORS® make impact in Illinois primaries

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The following is an update of the results on those candidates and local referenda that we have highlighted.  A complete breakdown of the results in the Illinois House and Senate will be available soon. PLEASE NOTE that the results are not official until certified by the State Board of Elections and the races noted with an asterisk (*) are projections since there are still precincts that have not been counted. We will update these results as they become final.

RPAC Supported ‘Opportunity Race’ Candidates (6 of 9 success)

  • Alex Acevedo, Illinois House, 2nd District, Chicago, IL (lost)
  • Jaime Andrade, Jr., Illinois House, 40th District, Chicago, IL (won)
  • Mike Hastings, Illinois Senate, 19th District, Cook and Will Counties (won)
  • *Martin McLaughlin, Illinois Senate, 26th District, Cook, Kane, Lake, McHenry counties   (lost)
  • Christian Mitchell, Illinois House, District 26, Chicago, IL (won)
  • *John Reinert, McHenry County Board, Crystal Lake, IL  (won)
  • *Carolyn Schofield, Illinois House, 66th District, McHenry and Kane counties (lost)
  • Cynthia Soto, Illinois House, 4th District, Chicago, IL (won)
  • Emanuel “Chris” Welch, Illinois House, 7th District (won)

Independent Expenditures (7 of 10 success)

  • Alex Acevedo, Illinois House, 2nd District, Chicago, IL (lost)
  • Jaime Andrade, Jr., Illinois House, 40th District, Chicago, IL (won)
  • Jean Crosby, Winnebago County Board, 16th District, Rockford, IL (won)
  • Mike Hastings, Illinois Senate, 19th District, Cook and Will Counties (won)
  • *Martin McLaughlin, Illinois Senate, 26th District, Cook, Kane, Lake, McHenry counties (lost)
  • Christian Mitchell, Illinois House, District 26, Chicago, IL  (won)
  • *John Reinert, McHenry County Board, Crystal Lake, IL (won)
  • *Carolyn Schofield, Illinois House, 66th District, McHenry and Kane counties (lost)
  • Cynthia Soto, Illinois House, 4th District, Chicago, IL  (won)
  • Emanuel “Chris” Welch, Illinois House, 7th District (won)

RVOICE Funded Local Referenda (2 of 4 success)

  • Home Rule, OPPOSED, Franklin Park — DEFEATED (Win for IAR)
  • Home Rule, OPPOSED, Westchester — DEFEATED (Win for IAR)
  • Home Rule, OPPOSED, Summit — APPROVED (Loss for IAR)
  • Sales Tax Increase for Streets, Sewers and Public Safety, SUPPORTED, Richton Park — DEFEATED (Loss for IAR)

 

 

 

Senate bill enhances notice requirements for local governments

As noted in last week’s State Capitol Report, IAR supports Senate Bill 26 (as amended) which moves language currently in the Local Records Act to the more appropriate Open Meetings Act. The bill requires public bodies outside Cook County to give members of the public an electronic means to communicate with local officials if they do not have an individual email address.

In addition, the bill adds the requirement that public bodies post any required public notice on their website in addition to posting it in a newspaper. A link to the required information must be put on the public body’s home page.

The bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Local Government Committee and is pending on the Senate floor.

Watch future issues of the State Capitol Report for updates.