Realtors twisting facts on Home Rule referendum
By Ray Hanania
If you live in many of the Southwest suburbs, you might be receiving election mailers from the powerful realtors association urging voters to vote NO on referenda that would give local communities Home Rule powers.
The realtors don’t like it because Home Rule gives local communities the ability to force realtors to ensure that buyers and sellers are protected. But many realtors only want to make a profit and they sure do profit not just in selling a home for you, but also helping people buy homes.
They take money from both ends. Some buyers and sellers learn later that the reality of sales often don’t live up to the promises made by the realtors in getting you to sign.
That’s not all realtors, of course. But the realtor lobbyists only care about protecting their turf.
Readers have been messaging me on social media that they are being inundated with expensive election mailers, text messages, robocalls, and Ads on Facebook that are trying to scare the voters to think that Home Rule is a bad word.
Home Rule is a legal government status defined by the State of Illinois Constitution that is intended to protect taxpayers by giving them a greater voice in government decisions.
The state defines the purpose of Home Rule as “to allow for local solutions to local issues and problems. A municipality with home rule status can exercise any power and perform any function unless it is specifically prohibited from doing so by state law.” In contrast, the state explains, “a non-home rule municipality may only exercise powers for which express authority is provided by state law. This means that non-Home Rule communities are dependent on obtaining grants of authority from the General Assembly and Governor.” Non-Home Rule communities, which have under 25,000 residents, must pass a referendum to enjoy Home Rule powers. It’s one reason why the realtors have been so successful in bullying voters because it’s tough for smaller population communities to stand up to the realtor lobby which bankrolls its scare campaigns with millions with political action fund monies.
One issue is how fast some realtors want to push through sales and purchases. The faster they can turn a home, the more money they can make. A quick sale is profitable for them. But sometimes, in a quick sale, buyers find themselves with issues they didn’t see, but that Home Rule powers would have recognized right away.
Without Home Rule powers, smaller communities find their hands tied and they can’t do much to help once a sale is done.
Having Home Rule authority takes the power away from the realtors and shifts the decision making process from Springfield to the local community.
Home Rule communities allow villages to approve tax relief for residents “by spreading the tax burden” to non-residents.
Home Rule communities can enter into multi-year contracts whereas non-Home Rule communities cannot. That reduces the costs of purchases and saves the taxpayers money.
Home Rule also gives small communities more options in terms of funding to cover operations, improve services, and support local businesses.
Home Rule takes the power away from the State and big buck lobbyists like the realtors and puts it in the hands of local communities.
If you have a chance to approve Home Rule in the April 4th election, you should take it. Don’t let the realtors association control your lives, your homes or your community. They are still going to make a lot of profits from home sales. But with Home Rule, you will have more say in how your government works.
THE NEW AXIS OF EVIL — The China, Russia and Iran alliance is troubling for America. Hypocrites in Congress, who benefit from China’s U.S. investments, are focusing on Tiktok, the social media platform owned by a Chinese company that is far less threatening.
The Biden administration’s mediocre response to Russian war crimes in Ukraine only encourages Russia to be more violent and emboldens Russian support of Iranian terrorist actions in Syria like this week killed one American and injured several American soldiers. Seeing how weak America is, caused by the Biden-Trump bickering, is strengthening the Axis terrorist nations.
America needs tough and smart leadership to confront terrorist nations like Russia, Iran and China. Neither former President Donald Trump nor President Joe Biden can fill that gap. It’s much like gun control in Chicago and Cook County. A weak policy against criminals, like that pushed by Kim Foxx, only empowers criminals to commit more crimes.
(This column appeared in the Des Plaines Valley News Newspaper.)
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter. A political analyst and CEO of Urban Strategies Group, Hanania’s opinion columns on mainstream issues are published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group in the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers. His Middle East columns are published in the Arab News. For more information on Ray Hanania visit www.Hanania.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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