Home Rule Authority
Under the Illinois Constitution, subject to certain specific exceptions, a home-rule municipality “may exercise any power and perform any function pertaining to its government affairs.” The following entities have home rule powers:
- Municipalities of at least 25,000 in population;
- Municipalities of any size if the voters approved home rule by referendum
- Counties with an elected chief executive (only Cook County Government)
The most prominent feature of home rule authority is the power to impose a variety of taxes. A home rule unit cannot tax income. A home rule unit can incur debt.
IMPLICATIONS TO IAR MEMBERS:
Since the enactment of home rule in 1970, several onerous ordinances have been enacted which affect real estate, including the following:
- Residential landlord/tenant ordinances (Chicago and Mt. Prospect have such laws);
- Multi-family Rental Licensure/Inspection ordinances;
- Developer land dedications or cash-in-lieu for schools and parks;
- Higher Property Tax Levies (Under the state law which imposes property tax caps, home rule units are exempt from the caps.);
- Pre-sale home inspection ordinances;
- Real Estate Transfer Tax (Under a state law enacted in 1997 and introduced by IAR, home rule units must seek voter approval in order to increase an existing transfer tax or impose a new one.)
- In recent years, local REALTOR® associations have been very successful in helping to defeat home rule referenda by writing to homeowners and discussing the implications of home rule for property owners.
Learn more about this effort by the Illinois Association of REALTORS® to protect members' interests throughout the state.
IAR fields a team of govern-
mental affairs directors that work in local communities through the RVOICE program. They are on the front lines of efforts to protect property rights
RVOICE and other advocacy efforts make sure REALTOR® issues get heard, whether it's in your community, in Springfield or in Washington, D.C. Protect your livelihood by learning how to take part in RPAC.