Thanks to actions by Mainstreet brokers and Illinois REALTORS®, the Calumet Park Village Board repealed an ordinance that sought to double the real estate transfer taxes paid by village home buyers just eight weeks after it was passed.

Illinois REALTORS® Local Government Affair Director Tom Joseph was alerted to the change in Calumet Park village code after two real estate brokers attempted to close separate property transactions. After confirming the village board approved an ordinance on Jan. 11 that raised the real estate transfer tax from $5 for every $1,000 in property value to $10 per $1,000, he objected to Mayor Ronald Denson, Village Clerk Omara Fonseca and the village attorneys. State law — which Illinois REALTORS® originally advocated and sponsored — requires new transfer taxes and increases to transfer taxes be approved by voter referendum, Joseph said. Illinois REALTORS® continues to vigilantly support the law.

Tom Joseph

“The village board listened to the advice of its legal counsel and was instructed to repeal the Jan. 11 ordinance as soon as possible,” said Joseph. “They voted 5-0 to repeal on March 8, preventing any home buyers from paying the increased tax.

“This kind of situation does not happen very often because of our wonderful state law,” he said. “We were pleased the ordinance was repealed.”

Joseph is the local governmental affairs director for parts of western Cook County (LaGrange area), the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® (South Suburban Cook County) and the Kankakee-Iroquois-Ford Association of REALTORS®.