Illinois senators meet with REALTOR® delegation on Capitol Hill

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin laughs as he is introduced by Illinois REALTORS® Federal Political Coordinator Matt Ferrell at a meeting on Thursday. Both of the state’s senators met with REALTORS® in Washington, D.C. for legislative meetings. Photos: Jon Broadbooks

Illinois REALTORS® met the state’s U.S. senators in meetings on Thursday, a capstone to three days of meetings with elected officials on Capitol Hill.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth meets with Illinois REALTORS® on Thursday in the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.

The Illinois delegation met with U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, in a meeting held in the Hart Senate Office Building. Durbin talked about prospects for tax reform, and listened as association members made the case for protecting private property rights.

Durbin was introduced by Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter and Federal Political Coordinator Matt Ferrell.

Later Thursday, REALTORS® met with U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who heard about the need to protect the Mortgage Interest Deduction and the 1031 Like-Kind Exchange tax provision.

Duckworth was introduced by Treasurer-nominee Ed Neaves and Federal Political Coordinator Nancy Suvarnamani. 

 

Fifteen from Illinois honored for significant support of RPAC

Fifteen Illinois REALTORS® were honored for their investment in RPAC, either as Hall of Fame inductees, or for reaching milestone investment levels. From left to right are: Ed Neaves (HOF); David McClintock (HOF); Dana Hybl (HOF); Doug Carpenter, $50,000 level honoree; Gary L. Clayton, $75,000 level honoree; Philip Chiles, HOF; Pat Dalessandro, former inductee who attended the ceremony; Norm Willoughby (HOF); Lynn Madison, $50,000 level honoree; John Kmiecik, $50,000 level honoree; Piero Orsi, $50,000 level honoree.

Eight new Illinois REALTORS® were honored Wednesday with an induction into the National Association of REALTORS® Hall of Fame. And seven more were honored for reaching new milestone investment levels.

To become a NAR Hall of Fame inductee, a REALTOR® has to have invested at least $25,000 in the REALTORS® Political Action Committee.

The eight inducted into the NAR Hall of Fame Wednesday were:

  • Colleen Clavesilla, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES of Crystal Lake. Clavesilla was 2001 Illinois REALTORS® president and has served on the board of directors and numerous association committees.
  • Dana Hybl, ABR, SRES, of Carol Stream. Hybl has served on the association’s Board of Directors in 2012 and has served on numerous committees including Grievance, Housing Opportunity and Political Involvement.
  • David L. McClintock, of New Lenox, CEO of Three Rivers Association of REALTORS®.
  • Ed Prodehl, CRS, of Burr Ridge. He served multiple terms on the association’s Board of Directors.
  • Edwin Neaves, of Bloomington, who was just nominated to be 2018 association treasurer. He was the 2016 Political Involvement Award recipient.
  • Millie Rosenbloom, of Chicago, a former Board of Directors member who served on the the Illinois Real Estate Educational Foundation board.
  • Norm Willoughby of Decatur. Willoughby is CEO of the Decatur Association of REALTORS® and the Central Illinois Board of REALTORS®. Willoughby is a former assistant commissioner of real estate for Illinois and is an instructor for the Illinois REALTORS® Licensing and Training Center.
  • Philip Chiles, of Springfield, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES. Chiles is a former Illinois REALTORS® president who has served on and chaired numerous committees.

Seven more Illinois REALTORS® honored for ongoing investment in RPAC by NAR

Six people from Illinois were honored for investing at least $50,000 in RPAC, and the seventh person, Gary L. Clayton, was honored for investing more than $75,000 in the political action committee as a ceremony held in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

Illinois REALTORS® CEO Gary L. Clayton was celebrated for donating more than $75,000 to RPAC during his career leading one the nation’s largest state real estate groups. Clayton has headed the association since 1983.

Honored for reaching the $50,000 investment level were:

  • Doug Carpenter, ABR, GRI, of Mokena, 2017 Illinois REALTORS® President, and the first Illinois REALTOR® to be inducted into the NAR Hall of Fame. He has served on numerous local, state and national committees in his career.
  • John C. Kmiecik, CRB, of Palos Park. He was 2004 association president, and chaired the NAR Political Advisory Working Group in 2004.
  • Lynn Madison, ABR, BPOR, GRI, SFR, SRES, of Schaumburg, who was 2016 REALTOR® of the Year and has chaired the associations’ Professional Standards Committee.
  • Piero Orsi, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, of Long Grove. Orsi has served on the association’s Board of Directors and has chaired the Major Donor Working Group.
  • Rob Wigton, RCE, CRS, of Edwardsville, CEO of the Greater Gateway Association of REALTORS®.
  • Pam Krieter, RCE, CIPS, of Franklin Park. She is interim CEO of the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS®, and previously long-time CEO at the association. Krieter has served in numerous volunteer leadership roles in her career, and chaired the association’s task force which shaped the commemoration of its 100th anniversary.  

The seven REALTORS® from Illinois celebrating new investment milestones were honored at an event at the Marriott Wardman in Washington, D.C..

 

Why homeowners, REALTORS® should be concerned about proposed federal tax overhaul

Source: Bigstock

The Trump administration released on Wednesday its initial sketch of what tax reform might look like.

Two specific areas to pay attention to as the debate develops would be the Mortgage Interest Deduction’s continued viability as a way to incentivize homeownership and a provision that would eliminate state and local tax deductions.

  • According to the Wall Street Journalthe tax package as outlined by the administration on Wednesday, would essentially double the standard deduction to about $24,000.

That means itemizing deductions including the Mortgage Interest Deduction would be less enticing or useful for those filing. That’s an issue since having the MID at full impact is an incentive to get people to buy homes. And homeownership, in addition to being economic bedrock, also serves to stabilize communities and gives families a shot at wealth creation.

By one measure, the average itemized deduction is about $26,000, so it’s not hard to see why doubling the standard deduction to $24,000 could make itemizing obsolete in many cases.

  • Also troubling is a move to eliminate local and state tax deductions.

Illinois reportedly has the highest property taxes in the state, and with an as-yet unsettled budget situation, it’s possible these taxes might increase over time. If the deduction for state and local taxes vaporizes, that means Illinois taxpayers will take a greater hit than states with lower taxes.

Illinois has a 3.75 individual state income tax rate, having decreased from 5 percent a few years ago. Neighboring Indiana has a 3.33 percent tax rate.

According to a CoreLogic study in 2016 the state had a 2.67 percent median property tax rate, versus a 1.31 percent median average for the U.S. as a whole.

Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter noted that for years REALTORS® have been urged to be vigilant about protecting the Mortgage Interest Deduction. Now is the time for the association’s 44,000-plus members to get involved in making sure policymakers understand how watering down the MID could have serious economic effects.

“As REALTORS®, we see daily the worth that this policy has had for millions of Illinois families who invest in their communities through homeownership,” Carpenter said. “Eroding the value of the MID is bad policy, and won’t serve the best interests of consumers. We should promote tax polices which encourage homeownership rather than make it less attractive.”

NAR President Bill Brown called the proposal is a “non-starter” for the real estate industry and homeowners. (His full statement is here.)

“Major reforms are needed to lower tax rates and simplify the tax code, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of current and prospective homeowners, ” he said.

It’s important to note that this is just the first step in the tax reform debate which is expected to last many months.

Illinois REALTORS® have a chance in less than a month as part of Capitol Hill visits during the REALTOR® Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo to tell lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to maintain the the MID’s impact.