by Mike Scobey, Senior Director of Local Advocacy & Global Programs

Home Rule:

In almost every election cycle, the Illinois REALTORS® gets actively involved in opposing Home Rule referenda. The March 20th Primary is no exception. There are three municipalities that are seeking home rule status: Homewood, Merrionette Park (both in Cook County) and Rockford (Winnebago County). Home rule is a form of municipal government which enables several policies that are troubling to REALTORS® and property owners. These include real estate transfer taxes, point-of-sale home inspections, rental property inspections and licensure. In addition, home rule units have the ability to increase property taxes without any kind of limitation. Rockford’s home rule attempt is a unique situation. Back in 1983, citizens there made the extraordinary effort to get home rule rescission (also allowed under the Constitution) on the ballot, and voters followed suit and ended home rule status. This year, the question of returning to home rule status was put on the ballot by the City Council. The Rockford Area Association of REALTORS® is opposing this measure to have home rule reinstated.

Independent Expenditure Activity:

In every election cycle, there are “REALTOR® Champions” (local and state legislators who strongly support the REALTOR® positions) who have tough re-election campaigns. And the Illinois REALTORS® will work to help them get re-elected. We do this through “Independent Expenditures” which allow us to do direct voter outreach on behalf of these candidates. In 2018, our focus will be on state legislative candidates who are deserving of this extra help in their re-election efforts.