IAR's Mike Scobey and Commercial/Industrial Committee chair Ahmed Badat.

Members of the Illinois Association of REALTORS’ Commercial/Industrial Investment Committee were told Tuesday that an effort to make source of income a protected class appears to have stalled.

Mike Scobey, the association’s Assistant Director, Advocacy and Local Issues, said the measure had been considered by a Cook County Board of Commissioners committee, but it appears that it will not advance for further board action.

The move, which was opposed by IAR, would potentially have forced force private property owners to take Section 8 tenants. If passed, it could have created bureaucratic hassles for landlords who would have to undergo a sometimes lengthy inspection process, and who would have to deal with additional steps to rent their property.

The Commercial/Industrial committee, headed by Ahmed Badat, CIPS, e-Pro, TRC, heard a series of reports on issues affecting commercial practitioners.

  • Scobey said a key victory this year of interest to commercial and industrial members was the extension of enterprise zones in Illinois for an additional 25 years, and has increased slightly the number of enterprise zones to 102. Scobey said the measure did come with guidelines for accountability for those getting the benefits of locating in an enterprise zone.
  • A managing broker’s name does not have to be placed on “for sale” signs. There had been confusion over whether that would need to be included. The addition of the names could have cost managing brokers more money as they would have to rework thousands of signs.
  • A tax tribunal has been set up as a intermediary between taxpayers in the state and the Illinois Department of Revenue. It takes effect in July, 2013.
  • A handful of Chicago area communities have rules that prohibit offices on the first floor of buildings in some areas. The rules appear to be an effort by local governments to maintain a sales tax revenue from properties. Panel members said the number of vacant buildings in some of these areas has resulted in less attention to enforcement of the policies.

Sharon Gorrell, housing policy advisor for IAR, provided an update about the Basel III Capital Accord which was endorsed at the Seoul G20 Leaders Summit in November 2010.  Basel III is intended to address the problems borne out of the 2008 financial crisis and prevent future global economic failure.  NAR provided comment through a coalition letter which spoke to several provisions including increased capital standards.  This broad international policy through a federal rulemaking process will be in concert with provisions within the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.  NAR agrees that the goals of the new requirements are of value, however they are  supportive of any effort to ensure that Basel III does not reduce liquidity.