REALTORS® discuss tax reform impact with Sen. Duckworth

Illinois REALTORS® had a chance to brief U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth on their concerns about proposed tax reform at a meeting on Sunday in Barrington. Photos: Brian Bernardoni.

Illinois REALTORS® met with U.S. Sen Tammy Duckworth on Sunday to outline concerns about the affect proposed tax law changes might have on homeowners.

Illinois REALTORS® President-elect Dan Wagner listens to Sen. Tammy Duckworth at a meeting on Sunday.

Duckworth met with REALTORS® including association President Matt Difanis and President-elect Dan Wagner. Also attending was REALTOR® Nancy Suvarnamani, who serves as the association’s federal political coordinator for Duckworth, and Brian Bernardoni, senior director of government affairs and public policy working with the Chicago Association of REALTORS®.

The meeting was held at Barrington Village Hall.

The first details on the tax reform bill are expected to be released this week, and REALTORS® are worried that the proposal may eliminate or water down the Mortgage Interest Deduction and taxpayers’ ability to deduct state and local taxes.

Eliminating or weakening the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) could have a profound impact on property owners nationwide, as it serves as a major incentive for buyers to own rather than rent. MID is critical for many first-time homebuyers, and has been a major driver in the real estate industry for more than 50 years.

The elimination of the state and local tax deduction would be felt particularly hard in Illinois, a state which has some of the highest property taxes in the nation.

Illinois REALTORS® advocates at ready as lawmakers return to Springfield

Illinois REALTORS®’ lobbyists are closely monitoring action related to the three-day 2017 veto session of the Illinois General Assembly which begins in Springfield on Tuesday.

Lawmakers are expected to take up several measures this week, ranging from a debt transparency initiative to gun control.

Illinois REALTORS® is not expecting action on issues relating to the real estate industry, but statehouse lobbyists Julie Sullivan and Greg St. Aubin are on standby and reviewing any action at the state Capitol.

The Illinois REALTORS® statehouse team had a successful 2017 general session, stopping bills which would have imposed rent control and ushering in key changes to laws governing real estate in Illinois.

Illinois REALTORS® meet with U.S. Rep. Roskam; discuss tax reform

U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam meets with Illinois REALTORS® to discuss a variety of issues important to the real estate industry including tax reform. (Photos: Sharon Gorrell)

This week Pat Callan, Broker/Owner of Realty Executives Premier in Wheaton and a NAR Federal Political Coordinator (FPC) met with U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., on Monday to discuss issues important to the REALTOR® community.


U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam responds to a question at a meeting on Monday, Aug. 22, 2015, with Illinois REALTORS®. Looking on was Pat Callan, a REALTOR® who serves as Federal Political Coordinator. The meeting was held at the DuPage Airport Flight Center terminal building.

Given Rep. Roskam’s position on the U.S. House Ways and Means committee, it puts him in a great position to discuss issues related to tax policy. Callan asked him to discuss what overall tax reform might look like depending on the make-up of Congress and the Executive Branch after the election.

Roskam said that any tax reform package “must be bipartisan” and while there certainly be a difference in priorities, everyone can agree that what we have now simply isn’t working.

Callan asked specifically about the provision in the tax code that taxes “phantom” income that is a result of a forgiven balance of a distressed mortgage. Roskam said he does not feel that provision will ever be reinstated. He sees that as an issue that everyone can agree is simply “offensive” to tax someone on income that they never actually received.

A few other topics discussed were GSE reform, access to credit, the 1031 Like-Kind Exchange and the future of deductions for property taxes and mortgage interest within the context of overall tax reform.  The meeting ended with REALTORS® giving updates on the real estate market from several areas of the district.

Day three: Floor passes again!


Illinois REALTORS® Immediate Past President Jim Kinney on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. Photo: Greg St. Aubin

Illinois REALTORS® Immediate Past President Jim Kinney on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. Photo: Greg St. Aubin

Illinois REALTORS® in Cleveland for the Republican National Convention will get a great vantage point for tonight’s festivities featuring vice presidential nominee Mike Pence.

IMG_4448At every convention, there’s a bit of trading with various organizations to get passes. So far, Governmental Affairs Director Greg St. Aubin has scored delegate seating two nights out of the past three.

Illinois is toward the front of the delegate area in the Quicken Loans Center, just behind New Jersey. The arena can hold more than 20,000 people in some configurations.

Early start for Illinois delegation attending Republican convention



Illinois REALTORS® breakfasted with members of the state’s delegation to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Monday, July 18, 2016. Left to right are: Immediate Past President Jim Kinney, state Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider, President-elect Doug Carpenter, President Mike Drews, Director of Governmental Affairs Greg St. Aubin and Illinois Republican National Committeeman Richard Porter.

Members of Illinois REALTORS® delegation to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland started their day with a breakfast attended by state policymakers.

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Illinois REALTORS® Immediate Past President Jim Kinney poses next to a row of bikes used by security officials at the Republican National Convention. Photo: Greg St. Aubin.

The breakfast is a tradition at the event, and kicks off a week of festivities for those attending the convention.

The attendance at the Republican event will be followed next week by Illinois REALTORS® going to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention.

Illinois REALTORS® sends a delegation to the conventions each presidential election year because of the access that members have to policymakers in a more informal setting.

The Illinois REALTORS®' delegation meets with U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis in Cleveland.

The Illinois REALTORS®’ delegation meets with U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis in Cleveland.

According to Greg St. Aubin, director of governmental affairs, the association is one of the few lobbying groups to send representatives to the conventions.

The association’s members are expected to get some access today to the arena where the convention is being held.

Tonight, the association is scheduled to hold a reception for Illinois officials attending the convention.