The House adjourned mid-morning on Friday but as of publication of this week’s report, the Senate was still in session.
As you know, the stalemate on the State’s budget and revenue impasse has continued through another fiscal year. At this time of year, various proposals are brought forward to seek an end to this impasse. This week the Senate advanced Senate Bill 9, sponsored by Senate Revenue Chair Senator Toi Hutchinson, which is a comprehensive revenue bill that includes an income tax increase, an expansion of the sales tax on a limited number of services (not on real estate brokerage or advertising), and puts an income limit for the Illinois income tax credit for residential property taxes paid. The income limit is $250,000 for single filers and $500,000 for joint filers. This is one of several proposals sure to surface as we face the scheduled adjournment on May 31st.
The Illinois REALTORS® continue to urge that property tax relief is included in the mix of legislation passed before the spring session adjourns.
Today’s report summarizes the status and activity of bills of interest to REALTORS® through Friday of this week.
LICENSE LAW CHANGES UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED IN SENATE- ON TO GOVERNOR
House Bill 3528 (Rep. Rita/Sen. Weaver), an initiative of the Illinois REALTORS®, was unanimously approved in the Senate on Thursday, marking final legislative action on this important bill. The bill will now be sent to the Governor for his consideration. As we have previously reported, this is bill was the product of negotiations between the REALTORS® and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). HB 3528 makes several important changes to the Real Estate License Act:
- Absorbs the Real Estate Education Advisory Council into the Real Estate Administration and Disciplinary Board. This is something that the REALTORS® and DFPR agree on. The duties of the EAC will be accomplished as a subcommittee of the READ Board.
- Consolidates and streamlines the licensing of Real Estate Education pre-license, post-license, and CE instructors and schools, another goal we share with the IDFPR.
- House Bill 3528 also updates the education requirements to ensure that courses focus on the most important issues for the licensee to know to best protect the consumer. The bill also modernizes course delivery options to ensure the best access and use of technology to reflect today’s marketplace. For example, continuing education courses could be offered in two-hour (rather than 3-hour) increments, and CE exams would only be required for home-study courses.
- Makes it crystal clear in the law that the leasing agent’s broker can be disciplined for allowing the leasing agent to practice outside of the limited scope of the leasing agent provisions;
- Provides for the inclusion of teaching about the proper supervision of leasing agents as a topic in the managing broker pre-license education curriculum.
The Illinois REALTORS® SUPPORTED HB 3528, and we thank our sponsors for their efforts in securing passage of the legislation.
CONTRACT FOR DEED BILL ADVANCES OUT OF COMMITTEE IN HOUSE
Senate Bill 885 (Sen. Koehler/Rep. Gordon-Booth), an initiative of Housing Action Illinois and the Attorney General’s Office was advanced out of the House Judiciary Civil Law Committee this week and is pending on the House floor (deadline extended to May 31st). SB 885, as introduced, would have proposed very restrictive provisions regarding “Contract for Deed/Bond for Deed/Rent to Own” contracts for the purchase of real estate. Our members felt that this bill would essentially eliminate this as a financing option for buyers, for whom this is often a financing option of last resort.
Following extensive negotiations, amendments SUPPORTED by the Illinois REALTORS® were adopted in committee and we are NEUTRAL on the bill. As amended, sellers of 3 or fewer “Contract for Deed” transactions will be exempt from the new provisions. For CFD sellers that ARE covered by the new law, the law will require certain contract provisions, require the seller to record the contract, and perhaps most importantly, the new law changes when a seller would have to foreclose on the buyer if he or she defaults (rather than evicting). Under current law, the seller would be required to foreclose if the contract was longer than 5 years, AND the buyer had 20% or more equity; the amended new law simply drops the 5-year provision. BUT…the original bill would have required foreclosure after only ONE year, or when the buyer reached 10% equity.
When approved in the House, the bill will be reported back to the Senate for their concurrence with the House amendments.
RIVER EDGE REDEVELOPMENT TAX CREDIT EXTENSION ADVANCES
The House Revenue and Finance Committee unanimously approved SB 1783 (Sen. Stadelman/Rep. Wallace) on Wednesday this week and the bill is currently pending final action on the House floor. This bill amends the Illinois Income Tax Act to extend the life of the authorized tax credit for the restoration and preservation of qualified historic structures located in River Edge Redevelopment Zones until January 1, 2022. This credit was due to expire on January 1, 2018. This important economic development tool is recognized for its success in leveraging private investment, creating jobs and promoting tourism and convention business in those Zones. There are currently FIVE municipalities that have designated River Edge Redevelopment Zones: Aurora, East St. Louis, Elgin, Peoria and Rockford. The Illinois REALTORS® SUPPORTS this legislation.
OTHER REAL ESTATE RELATED BILLS ADVANCE
Senate Bill 1531 (Sen. Weaver/Rep. Rita) was approved in the House Business and Occupational Licenses Committee this week and the bill is pending on the House floor (deadline extended to May 31st). The bill amends the Real Estate Appraiser Licensing Act to slightly revise the requirements for the real estate licensee members that are on the Appraisal Administration and Disciplinary Board. Under current law, both broker appointees must be licensed as brokers for 10 years, and certified as an appraiser for 5 years (one general, one residential). The bill would change it to both broker appointees simply having to have been brokers for 5 years. The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL.
Senate Bill 1821 (Sen. Althoff/Rep. Demmer) was also approved in the House Business and Occupational Licenses Committee this week and is pending on the House floor (deadline extended to May 31st). An initiative of Gov. Rauner’s administration aimed at reducing state regulatory and licensing burdens, the bill repeals several state licensing statutes, including the Real Estate Timeshare Act and the Land Sales Registration Act. The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL.
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION CHANGES
The House approved Senate Bill 473 (Sen. Munoz/Rep. Martwick) this week on a roll call vote of 87-24-0 and the bill has been sent back to the Senate for their concurrence on a House amendment. This bill, primarily is aimed at changing certain homestead exemptions in Cook County.
- Increases the senior citizen homestead exemption in Cook County from $5,000 to $8,000. (all other counties remain at the current $5,000 maximum).
- Changes the maximum income limitation for the senior citizens assessment freeze from $55,000 to $65,000 in ALL COUNTIES. This change is effective in Cook County beginning with taxable year 2017 and in all other counties in 2018. The delay in the other counties was requested by county assessors.
- Provides that in Cook County, beginning in taxable year 2017, the amount of the senior citizens assessment freeze shall be the greater of the amount of the exemption otherwise calculated under the Property Tax Code OR $2,000.
- Increases the general homestead exemption in Cook County only from $7,000 (it is currently $6,000 in all other counties) to $10,000. All other counties remain at the $6,000 maximum.
PROPERTY TAX ABATEMENT FOR CERTAIN PROPERTIES ADVANCES
Senate Bill 1795 (Stadelman) was advanced out of the House Revenue and Finance Committee this week and the bill is currently pending final action on the House floor (deadline extended to May 31st). SB 1795 amends the Property Tax Code concerning tax abatements after acquisition by a governmental unit. This bill would extend the authority to abate to property acquired by a governmental unit under a blight reduction or abandoned property program administered by IHDA. The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL.
FINAL LEGISLATIVE ACTION ON OTHER BILLS OF INTEREST THIS WEEK
The following bills of interest saw final legislative action this week. All of these bills will now be sent to the Governor for his consideration. The Illinois REALTORS® is NEUTRAL on these bills.
Senate Bill 567 (Sen. Manar/Rep. Scherer) Grants the requisite legislative authority for the city of Decatur and Macon County to exercise quick-take eminent domain power for two years for the acquisition of described property for the purpose of construction on Brush College Road.
Senate Bill 588 (Sen. Bivins/Rep. Stewart) Grants the requisite legislative authority to extend the life of a TIF in the Village of Milledgevillle, located in Carroll County.
Senate Bill 609 (Sen. Morrison/Rep. Nekritz) Amends the Property Tax Code to provide that, if the Property Tax Appeal Board renders a decision after the deadline for filing complaints with the board of review, or after adjournment of the session of the board of review, for any subsequent year in the general assessment period (instead of the subsequent year only), then the taxpayer may appeal the assessment for those subsequent years directly to the Property Tax Appeal Board.
Senate Bill 669 (Sen. Link/Rep. Mayfield) Amends the Counties Code to require a public question on whether the chairman of the Lake County Board should be elected by the voters to be submitted to the voters of Lake County in 2018. If approved, the legislation stipulates that the chairman of the Lake County board shall be elected by the voters of the county at the 2020 election and thereafter.
Senate Bill 1562 (Sen. Cunningham/Rep. Currie) Amends the Abandoned Housing Rehabilitation Act to modify the definition of “parties in interest” to include the applicable unit of local government where the property is located and the definition of “rehabilitation” to provide that the proposed improvements must conform with a local government’s comprehensive plan or other planning policies and must comply with licensing and zoning codes.
House Bill 2719 (Rep. Davis/Sen. Althoff) Amends the Radon Resistant Construction Act to remove reference to the Radon-Resistant Building Codes Task Force which is abolished.
House Bill 2965 (Rep. Andrade/Sen. Martinez) Amends the Residential Mortgage License Act to provide that when a mortgagor is in arrears more than one month, no licensee shall refuse to accept any payments offered by the mortgagor in whole month payment amounts. The bill also provides that such payments shall be applied to the unpaid balance in the manner provided in the licensee's mortgage with that mortgagor.
House Bill 3359 (Rep. Sims/Sen. Hastings) This bill amends various statutes to change references to “forcible entry and detainer actions” and “actions for possession” to “eviction actions” and references to “orders of possession” and “judgment of possession” to “eviction orders”. HB 3359 provides that a standardized residential eviction order form to be used by judges in issuing eviction orders, as determined by the Supreme Court, shall be used statewide.
House Bill 3400 (Rep. Sosnowski/Sen. Althoff) Amends various Acts to clarify the procedures for paying previously unbilled services for water supplied to a residential customer.
House Bill 3521 (Rep. Butler/Sen. Brady) Amends the Township Code to add language, limited to Sangamon County, to provide that the office of township collector within Sangamon County will be discontinued on January 1, 2022. On that date the Sangamon County Treasurer will assume the duties of each township collector within the county. Should one of the township collector’s office become vacant prior to January 1, 2022 the vacancy will NOT be filled and the Treasurer would assume the duties.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY SCHEDULE THIS WEEKEND AND NEXT WEEK
The Senate is scheduled to adjourn late Friday afternoon and return to the Capitol on Monday. The House, as previously noted, adjourned Friday morning and will return on Sunday for work throughout the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The House has scheduled various Appropriations Committee hearings for Sunday afternoon and it is expected that they will vote on a budget at those hearings and send the package to the full House. The scheduled adjournment date of this spring session in Wednesday, May 31st.