The Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) Advocacy Program was involved in several Nov. 2 ballot measures that affect the real estate industry and private property rights.

In six Cook County municipalities, IAR worked to inform voters of the pitfalls of home rule status. Home rule was defeated in Blue Island, Franklin Park, Indian Head Park, and Worth; it passed in Northfield and River Grove. Home rule units generally have significant powers to regulate real estate transfers through point-of-sale inspection programs, zoning certification, just to name a few. They can also assess impact fees on developers, impose “teardown” taxes and real estate transfer taxes.

Voters soundly rejected the Village of Riverdale’s proposal (77% NO) to enact a transfer tax of $2 per thousand (of the sale price) imposed on the seller. IAR and the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® strongly opposed this measure.

By a 2-to-1 margin, voters approved a REALTOR®-supported measure in Shorewood (Will County) for a one-cent sales tax sought by the village. REALTORS® supported this measure because it was coupled with property tax relief (a 25-percent rollback in the village’s portion of the property tax).

Voters rejected a proposal by Sangamon County to pass a one-percent county-wide sales tax that would provide additional revenue for the county’s school districts and to provide property tax relief. The Capital Area Association of REALTORS® supported the measure, however 55 percent of voters opposed it, 45 percent voted in favor.

Voters supported a REALTOR®-initiated advisory referendum in the Village of Bannockburn (Lake County) that asked voters whether to rescind an existing ordinance that requires a point-of-sale home inspection performed by the village. The North Shore-Barrington Association of REALTORS® initiated this ballot item and supports rescission of the ordinance. The issue might come before the village board in the future in light of the fact that voters supported rescission of the ordinance by a 3-to-1 margin.