Video explains what you need to know about Chicago property tax increases

If you’ve seen your property tax bill in Chicago, no doubt you were not happy to see an average increase of 12 percent in what you have to pay.

Real Property Alliance, an Illinois REALTORS® foundation with a mission of educating consumers about private property rights, partnered with the Chicago Association of REALTORS® to produce a short video that explains the the increase, and outlines what options residents have to lower bills on future assessments.

RPA and the Chicago Association of REALTORS® are working together to make sure residents have as much information as possible to understand what they have to do in the face of the increases.

City residents got slapped with a $543 million tax levy increase in large part to fund police and fire pensions, in addition to a triennial reassessment.

Property owners have several options. They can check to see if they are getting the tax exemptions they qualify for, and they can file an appeal based on assessed values for properties that are similar to theirs. The appeals won’t do anything for the 2015 bills and most of the 2016 bills. But future bills could be lowered if an appeal is successful.

The video has the information, and even more in-depth coverage can be found at RPA’s website.

At a glance: Poll shows seniors worried about property taxes

Senior Survey Graphic IIllinois reportedly has the highest property taxes in the nation, and the state’s seniors are understandably worried about the squeeze that puts on their ability to maintain a good quality of quality of life, a poll commissioned by Illinois REALTORS® found.

Illinois REALTORS created a infographic that has the highlights of the survey. Download it here.

Sixty-six percent of seniors surveyed in April said paying property taxes was a top concern. The survey of 600 people age 55 and older was commissioned by Illinois REALTORS® Senior Housing Working Group. It found that worries over property taxes outpaced concerns over saving for retirement and paying for groceries and food.

The survey was among a package of materials that the Working Group generated. A brochure was produced giving an overview of what resources were available for municipalities looking to make their communities senior-friendly, and a toolkit was created which give practical examples of policy initiatives nationwide which help improve the quality of life for seniors. You can find all the resources here.


India’s real estate market presents a paradox

The rapid growth of India’s commercial and residential real estate sectors, along with the phenomenal growth of the hospitality industry have created vast opportunities for international REALTORS® and investors. But a diverse market and the scope of bringing professional regulations, uniform property registration, title analyses and insurance to more than 600,000 cities and villages is daunting.

With almost 500 cities that boast populations in excess of 100,000 people, India is off to a good start. After affiliating with the National Association of REALTORS® in the United States, NAR-India announced two significant steps at its annual convention in New Delhi Aug. 13 and 14:

  • branding real estate practitioners as REALTORS®; and
  • joining NAR in promoting various education programs and ethical standards.

I had the opportunity to attend the eighth annual convention of NAR-India as a guest of honor along with about 100 representatives from 28 different countries. Illinois REALTORS® was also well represented by: my wife, Harsha Shukla; Ahmad Badat, past president of the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® (MORe); Marsha Collins-Mroz, incoming director of MORe; and Delmy Economos, a member of MORe’s Global Committee.

Real estate plays a significant role and is an essential contributor in Indian economic development. The real estate and building business is the second largest employer in the nation, after agriculture. Over the next decade, real estate sector is expected to grow by 30 percent. Housing alone contributes about 6 percent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The Indian real estate market size is about $120 billion U.S. dollars and is expected to grow to $180 billion by 2020.

Indian infrastructure is growing fast with about 15 miles of roads being added every day. With more than 71,000 miles of railway track and more than 7,000 railway stations, India has one of the largest railway networks in the world. Software hubs like Bengaluru and Hyderabad and financial hubs like Mumbai and Delhi have unparalleled growth. The world’s costliest home of more than $1 billion (next only to Buckingham Palace in London) is owned by a Mumbai-based Indian entrepreneur. With the world’s cheapest automobiles costing just about $3,000, the roads are flooded with vehicles. The Indian middle class – 267 million in 2016 and growing at a very rapid rate – typically buy new properties in their home country and look for investment opportunities abroad.

NAR-India convention was inaugurated by K. Rahman Khan, member of parliament and former union minister of minority affairs. Lamp lighting, traditional short Indian performances were remarkable. Sessions covered various topics including the RERA bill (Real Estate Regulation and Development Act, 2016), Social Media, Business Startups for Commercial Sector and Global Real Estate. For the first time in India, it is now mandatory for all commercial and residential real estate projects with more than 500 square meters of land or eight apartments, to register with the RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority). Presentations and trade show booths were dominated by a few Indian real estate developers. Unfortunately, time management of the events lacked proper coordination.

On behalf of Association of South Asian Real Estate professionals (ASARP), Collins-Mroz, a ASARP founding director and I, presented an honorary life membership to Farookh Mahmood, a founding member and past president of NAR-India. Collins-Mroz presented her ideas on investment opportunities in the U.S., too.

NAR-India’s incoming president is Sam Chopra, a RE/MAX franchise owner from New Delhi. All of the 30 regional member associations were well represented at the convention. Due to market and cultural diversity, the road ahead is long and challenging. NAR- India is aware of this and is moving forward with sound and steady action steps.


Illinois REALTORS® donates $10,000 for Louisiana flood relief

Source: Bigstock

Source: Bigstock

Continuing a long tradition of helping out when disaster strikes, Illinois REALTORS® has donated $10,000 toward flood relief efforts in Louisiana.

The floods spawned by a slow-moving storm this month killed at least 13 and reportedly damaged as many as 60,000 homes. Many areas of Louisiana are just now beginning to dry out enough so residents can get back to their homes.

“REALTORS® never hesitate to help communities in need, whether that community is down the road or in another part of the country,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Mike Drews, GRI.

Illinois REALTORS® has donated more than $600,000 since 1997 to help communities coping with disasters.

The association has donated funds in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, after Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, and numerous tornado outbreaks in Illinois.

The association has a non-profit arm set up to help those in need called the Illinois REALTORS® Relief Foundation.

REALTORS® can learn about Conservation Foundation’s mission, programs Sept. 8

Source: Bigstock

Source: Bigstock

Illinois REALTORS® with an interest in land conservation will have a chance to meet members of the Conservation Foundation at a free breakfast event hosted at The Inland Real Estate Group of Companies headquarters in Oak Brook.

Dan Wagner

Dan Wagner

Join foundation trustee Dan Wagner, treasurer-nominee for the Illinois REALTORS®, at the meeting to be held Thursday, Sept. 8 at Inland’s offices at 2901 Butterfield Road.(Map)

Make reservations by emailing Scott LaMorte at or calling him at (630) 428-4500 x142.

The Conservation Foundation will present information on our programs of interest to REALTORS®, such as:

  • Natural Areas Assurance Program for residential housing developments
  • The “Buy & Hold” method of land preservation
  • Conservation Easements
  • Regional Conservation@Home and Conservation@Work programs for environmentally-friendly properties

According to the groups website: “Founded in 1972, The Conservation Foundation is one of the region’s oldest and largest not-for-profit land and watershed conservation organizations dedicated to preserving and restoring open space, protecting rivers and watersheds and promoting stewardship of the environment in northeastern Illinois.