Almost a decade later, REALTOR® effort has lasting effect

Howard Handler

In 2013, local Government Affairs Director Howard Handler described the domino effect of REALTOR® advocacy. Handler recounted how a successful REALTOR® effort from 2008, to beat back an illegal real estate transfer stamp program adopted by the city of Highwood, led to squashing a similar ordinance and proposal, respectively, in the villages of Golf and Riverwoods. Nearly a decade later, our advocacy still has legs.

When village of Deerfield staff, trying to tackle illegal sanitary sewer infiltration, toyed with the idea of requiring a village-issued transfer certificate prior to recording a deed, the North Shore-Barrington Association of REALTORS® (NSBAR) jumped in. NSBAR shared with Deerfield staff the written decision by the Lake County Recorder of Deeds to record deeds with or without Highwood’s faux-transfer stamp.

Deerfield staff in a memorandum to the Village Board wrote: “Upon reviewing the 2008 opinion issued by the Lake County Recorder’s Office… Village staff and the Village Attorney concluded that only non-compliance with a referendum approved transfer tax would be sufficient to prohibit real estate transfers in the Village.”

Deerfield village staff and Board of Trustees have instead decided to conduct an educational and incentive-based campaign to bring illegal sanitary sewer hookups into compliance.

“Deerfield staff were very receptive to our concerns that a transfer certificate requirement without voter approval was not only unlawful, but that it would unduly interfere with home sales,” said Handler.  “We recognize the problems caused by illegal sewer connections and look forward to working with the village on educating REALTORS® and property owners.”  Handler is also a Deerfield resident.

Illinois REALTORS® meets mobile alert goal

(Figures updated at 2 p.m. Aug. 1)

Thanks to more than 450 recent registrants for REALTOR® Party mobile text alerts, the total number of Illinois REALTORS® who receive them has reached 6,863, according to the NAR.

Subscribers to the mobile alerts receive a text message reminder when NAR issues a Call for Action on critically important legislation and makes responding even easier. Illinois REALTORS® is among the largest state associations to reach the benchmark so far. Today’s NAR report showed 12 states — including Illinois — surpassed their annual goals.

“Reaching this milestone after only seven months is fantastic,” says Christopher Tenggren, 2017 chair of the REALTORS® Political Involvement Committee and an associate at RE/MAX All Pro in St. Charles. “It is a tribute to the character of our members. REALTORS® take great pride protecting the rights of private property owners and helping their local communities grow. REALTORS® who sign up for mobile text alerts and respond to calls for action recognize the power we have when we communicate together.”

Members who have not yet subscribed to the REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts may do so by texting the word “REALTORS” to 30644.

To learn more about the program, and to see how Illinois stacks up against other states, go to the Action Center’s page.

 

Callan meets with Roskam at tax policy luncheon

U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, left, talks with Illinois REALTOR® Pat Callan in Washington, D.C.

Illinois REALTOR® Pat Callan met with U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

Callan, a former Illinois REALTORS® president who serves as federal political coordinator for Roskam, helped host a lunch the congressman attended at the D.C. headquarters of the National Association of REALTORS®. At the lunch, industry leaders discussed upcoming efforts to revise the nation’s tax code.

Federal political coordinators work closely with assigned congressional representatives to update them on market conditions and the impact of policy decisions on the real estate industry.

Roskam, serves as chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy, which will play a key role in any attempt at tax reform. He represents Illinois’ Sixth Congressional District.

REALTORS® have been especially wary of the tax code rewrite effort. Key provisions such as the Mortgage Interest Deduction and 1031 Like-Kind Exchange are seen as potentially vulnerable in the process.

Illinois REALTORS® have joined their colleagues throughout the country urging policymakers to consider the value of these provisions and others which encourage homeownership and real estate investment.

Changes to National Flood Insurance Program need serious consideration says REALTOR®

Robertson

With the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, the Illinois REALTORS® and about 42,000 Illinois homeowners who live in a flood plain are watching closely to see what action Congress takes in the meantime.

Several bills have been prepared by Congress to sustain the program, and at least one includes the possibility of raising premiums on flood insurance, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune. But the program faces debt problems incurred from large-scale catastrophes like Hurricane Sandy, and relies on feedback from policyholders and communities to keep flood plain maps up to date, pass ordinances limiting the construction of new homes in flood plains and to price the product accurately. Resolving shortcomings in many of these areas and streamlining the process would help, says Shorewood REALTOR® Karen Robertson.

Further, a McHenry County official says if the program isn’t renewed by Sept. 30, future home sales in flood prone areas could be delayed. Read the Tribune article, “If flood insurance program lapses, it’ll be ‘total chaos,’ warns official.”

Why the National Association of REALTORS® supports the National Flood Insurance Program.

 

REALTORS® put themselves in clients’ shoes when they visit Lake County government offices

Circuit Judge Daniel Jasica helped REALTORS® understand evictions so they can be better resources for landlords and tenants. See photo gallery at bottom of this story.

Lake County REALTORS® braved unprecedented flooding and closed roads to attend a special, REALTOR®-only real estate related walking tour of Lake County government offices Monday.

REALTORS® met with Recorder of Deeds Mary Ellen Vanderventer to learn more about the recording process and how to access real estate records, then met Treasurer David Stolman to learn more about property tax bills and collections. Circuit Court Judge Luis A. Berrones taught them about the foreclosure mediation program, Circuit Court Judge Daniel L. Jasica spoke about evictions, and Chief County Assessment Officer Martin P. Paulson explained about the property assessment process and appeals.

Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor was scheduled to appear but he and numerous REALTORS® were unable to attend due to area flooding.