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Legal updates from Three Rivers Association Attorney

By Gary S. Mueller, Mueller & Associates, LTD

Phone:  815-725-7300                        e-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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February 2020

I hope this finds you all well.  At the time you are reading this, Kansas City will have won the Super Bowl by a score of 35-14, the Blackhawks will have secured a play-off position, the Cubs will have traded Kris Bryant (much to the dismay of many in Cubby-land), the Sox will have made one last splash pick-up by paying for Castellaneos (formerly of the Cubs), and my Fighting Illini Men’s basketball will still be ranked in the top 25 in the country.  So………… many of you are doubting my prognostication skills, you should likely be leery of anyone who is confident about predicting the near future of our real estate market.  As we suffered in 2008 and 2009, just a gentle reminder of the following: a) we have made it through rough waters before and will do so again; b) make sure to reassess and reconfirm your business plan and stay focused on pushing forward with your plan (you know what works for you and your clients---continue to do it, but perhaps with even more vigor); and c) if you are going to worry, worry about those things YOU can actually control.

With that as a basis, the following will include some updates on new laws that may affect our business:

Concerning legalization of recreational cannabis----a) Landlords who already prohibit smoking cigarettes in units may, likewise, prohibit smoking marijuana in units; b) impaired drivers may be ticketed for driving under the influence of marijuana; c) adults, aged 21 and over, will be able to buy up to 30 grams (about one ounce) of marijuana flower edibles totaling no more than 500 mg of THC, and 5 grams of cannabis concentrate products; and d) Chicago, Joliet, and Aurora have voted to allow recreational marijuana sales.

Property Tax—Senior Homestead Exemption---In counties of 3,000,000 or more, for taxable years 2020 through 2024, a taxpayer who has been granted a senior citizens’ senior exemption need not reapply.  If the property ceases to be qualified for the Senior Exemption in any year for which reapplication is not required, the owner SHALL notify the chief county assessor that the property is no longer qualified.

Property Tax, TIF info on bill---Requires that, if a property is located within a tax increment financing (TIF) district, the tax bill must include a list of the TIF district(s) that apply to the location where the property is situated as well as the dollar amount of tax due that is allocable to the TIF district.

Seniors’ cancellation of contracts---Provides that a person aged 65 or older may cancel purchases made from an uninvited solicitor within 15 days of signing the contract (the limitation previously was only 3 days).

Concerning Broker Market Analysis---When a broker provides a price opinion or comparative market analysis, the broker must include a statement within the opinion or analysis that the document has been prepared by a licensed real estate broker who is NOT acting as a State certified real estate appraiser.

Concerning Condo default/written notice---Before a Board may levy a fine, the Board shall first provide the unit owner a minimum of 20 days’ written notice and an opportunity to be heard.

Thank you for your continued support of my office. I hope we will be allowed to work with you and on behalf of our mutual clients.  May this end of winter/start of spring market exceed your expectations. Finally, may your predictions be far better than mine.

Take care