Local associations and the Illinois Association of REALTORS® RVOICE program was at work in four local communities in Illinois fighting against home rule referenda. In Kenilworth and Westmont, voters defeated home rule. In Maywood and Homer Glen, voters approved it. Pursuant to the Illinois Constitution, a municipality can seek to become home rule unit if the voters approve it in a referendum. A municipality automatically becomes a home rule unit when its population reaches 25,000. With home rule status come additional powers to regulate and tax.
IAR has a long history of challenging home rule at the local level. My Feb. 2 blog post “Potential Pitfalls for REALTORS, Property Owners with Home Rule,” explains why in detail and you can get a snapshot of the issue in this Home Rule infographic. These are four of the main reasons REALTORS® and RVOICE work to stop home rule: 1) It can increase the debt load for local governments, 2) home rule often leads to higher property taxes without voter approval, 3) more regulations, red tape and fees on the real estate transaction, and 4) new inspection fees, again, without voter approval.
This mailer is an example of one of the tactics used by IAR and the RVOICE program to stop home rule. Postcards were mailed to voters in Kenilworth and REALTORS® also organized a get-out-the-vote campaign.