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March 16, 2011

Why Local Elections Matter

Chris While elections for national and statewide office often capture our attention and stir our emotions, it's the races closer to home that actually have the biggest effect on us - and our wallets.

Municipal elections touch the value of our homes, our schools, the streets we drive on and the police and fire departments that protect us. Good local leaders can help communities flourish, while irresponsible public servants can drive them into fiscal insolvency.

Right now is not an easy time for our cities and villages. Like everyone else, they are still feeling the effects of the recession and looking for ways to make ends meet. To close their budget gaps, many are considering service cuts as well as tax hikes and other means of generating new revenue.

Unfortunately, that new revenue is often drained from the pockets of local homeowners in the form of property taxes and measures such as water bill deposits and building permit fees.

It's not fair - nor is it a good idea - to balance a budget on the backs of homeowners. Just ask your local REALTOR what effect that could have on your ability to sell your home in the future.

Due to the nature of our work, we closely align with the needs of homeowners. From fighting to protect mortgage interest deductions on the national level to thwarting onerous taxes and codes locally, REALTORS serve as homeowners' tireless advocates. We watch your back by monitoring local government activity for issues that might interfere with private property rights, or affect your ability to buy, sell or maintain your home.

We urge you to pay attention to local elections and vote on April 5th. Take some time to study the backgrounds of - and meet - candidates for city council, county board and school board, for example. Be sure and ask important questions such as:

  • Do your candidates support property tax increases? If so, why?
  • Do they support regulations that make it tougher to sell foreclosed homes?
  • What is their position on transfer taxes?
  • How do they feel about the regulation and requirement of home inspections?
  • Are they considering any new property maintenance codes? If so, what are they?

Now more than ever, it's important to pay attention and make your voice heard - and your vote count. Let's work this spring to elect capable leaders who can help boost the value of our neighborhoods without placing an undue burden on homeowners and our communities.

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Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS®
6655 Main Street, Downers Grove, IL 60516
630.324.8400 • www.SucceedWithMORe.com