How will tax reforms affect homeowners and real estate industry?

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REALTORS® trying to understand how the Republicans’ proposal for comprehensive tax reform will affect the real estate industry should consider some of the comments made by National Association of REALTORS® President William Brown.

“We have always said that tax reform—a worthy endeavor—should first do no harm to homeowners,” said Brown. “The tax framework released by the ‘Big Six’ [on Wednesday] missed that goal.”

Brown also noted the proposal could weaken property values and reduce incentives for consumers to buy a home.

Changes outlined in the proposal could reduce the use of the mortgage interest deduction (MID) and eliminate state and local tax deductions for individual taxpayers but reduce tax rates for real estate companies. Other industry leaders hope more discussion leads to changes in the plan that will help more Americans and American industries.


Morning Minute: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers guidance on credit following Equifax data breach

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau advises Americans to take steps to protect their credit in: “Top 10 ways to protect yourself in the wake of the Equifax data breach.”

Freezing your credit, reviewing your credit report at least annually and setting up fraud alerts are just a few ideas offered.

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How appealing property tax assessments can pay off

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Illinois REALTORS® can demonstrate their value to homeowners by sharing their knowledge of the local property tax process.

That expertise can pay off for property owners who receive tax assessment notices and want to appeal increases. In Cook County, for example, a Chicago Tribune columnist discovered more than 80 percent of property owners who appealed their 2016 assessments earned reductions. That figure included appeals initially rejected but then overturned by the Cook County Board of Review.

In this particular investigation, the reporter found more than 40 percent of property owners in counties surrounding Chicago successfully appealed their assessments, although one county was lower than 3 percent. REALTORS® what’s the situation in your county?

Appeal strategies compare assessments or the recent sale prices of similarly sized nearby homes. Homeowners may appreciate answers to questions like these:

  • Who is the county assessor?
  • When are property assessments sent to taxpayers?
  • When is the deadline for appeals?
  • What forms are used for appeals?
  • Can appeals be made electronically or must they be done in person at the assessor’s office?
  • How long does it take to gather evidence of similar properties?
  • How long to fill out appeals forms?
  • What is the time frame for appeals decisions?

Combine your knowledge of this information with resources that can help explain Illinois property taxes and the appeals process. Go to the Real Property Alliance website at

BGA names award after REALTOR® Goodwin

Daniel L. Goodwin

The Better Government Association (BGA) announced that its annual Watchdog Award will be named after its 2016 recipient, REALTOR® Daniel L. Goodwin, chairman and chief executive officer of the Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc., of Oak Brook.

BGA made its announcement May 3 at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards for Investigative Reporting in Chicago.

When honored in 2016, BGA recognized Goodwin for his advocacy for government reform in Illinois, as well as his lifetime achievements in business, philanthropy, economic development and civic engagement. Also, BGA noted his work as DuPage Airport Authority chairman should serve as a national model for government working in the public’s best interest.

On April 24, Goodwin received the first Lifetime Achievement Award ever presented by Illinois REALTORS®, at the RPAC Pacesetter VIP Event at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. The event helped kick off the 2017 Capitol Conference and REALTOR® Lobby Day.