Illinois REALTORS® handily defeated several municipal referenda which requested Home Rule authority in the November election.

Home Rule was on the ballot in five municipalities:  Prospect Heights (Cook County), Winthrop Harbor, Beach Park, Zion (all Lake County) and Lemont (Will County).    

While Home Rule gives municipalities more local autonomy, when misused, it can negatively impact real estate and private property owners. Illinois REALTORS® is the only advocate for private property rights at the state and local levels. That is why we intend to educate communities about the unintended consequences of Home Rule.

Why do Illinois REALTORS® oppose Home Rule? We have seen abuses of Home Rule power in some municipalities.

  • We oppose the increased debt for local governments that Home Rule allows.
  • We oppose higher property taxes without voter approval that comes with Home Rule.
  • We oppose the additional regulations, red tape and fees on real estate transactions that Home Rule authority allows.
  • We oppose possible new and excessive property inspections and fees which Home Rule authority can impose.

In addition to the Home Rule referenda we opposed, the Illinois REALTORS® supported a one-cent sales tax in Frankfort (Will County) to help fund infrastructure improvements and a one-cent sales tax in Sangamon County to help fund elementary and secondary school districts. 

Both sales tax measures were approved by voters.

In all of these campaigns, the Illinois REALTORS® did direct mail and other voter education/outreach directed to likely voters.

Michael Scobeyby Mike Scobey, Illinois REALTORS®
Senior Director of Local Advocacy & Global Programs

The 2019 Municipal Elections (to be held in most municipalities on April 2) give us another opportunity to be engaged politically. There may be more Home Rule and real estate transfer tax referenda that we will oppose, and there will be pro-REALTOR® candidates that we can support. Illinois REALTORS® will be there to keep you informed.