Filling Glass Of Tap Water

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The village of Bradley (Kankakee County, pop. 16,000) repealed a “water certificate” ordinance that KIFAR and IAR’s local government affairs team have opposed since before it took effect in July 2009.

The ordinance was originally created and approved by the Bradley village board as a means to collect outstanding water and sewer bills. In return for making full payments, property owners would get “water certificates” for transfer of property.

IAR local Government Affairs Director Tom Joseph gave five reasons REALTORS® opposed the ordinance in the non-home-rule municipality:

  1. Non-home-rule municipalities must follow Illinois law for collection of water and sewer charges.
  2. The village told the Kankakee County recorder of deeds not to allow transfers without village certificates of approval.
  3. The village told title companies not to allow transfers without village certificate approvals. (The recorder of deeds and title companies are governed by the Illinois General Assembly not municipal governments, which created conflict with this ordinance.)
  4. Without home-rule and the approval of a real estate transfer tax by residents via referendum, Bradley was not authorized to use this certificate.
  5. The village was holding up real estate transfers unless billing was paid in full or future prorated billing was paid in advance at transfer.

GAD battles

“Due to our R-VOICE program and consistent review by our local government affairs program, our advocacy won out and the ordinance was repealed in late October,” says Joseph, who noted that a real estate transfer was held up earlier this year by the ordinance. “There is nothing more professionally satisfying than when a village rescinds an ordinance due to our advocacy.

“I’d like to extend special thanks to KIFAR leadership, IAR counsel, Sorling Northrup Attorneys and our local government affairs program for not allowing bad public policy to continue,” he said. “And lastly, I’d like to thank the village of Bradley for doing the right thing.”