Mainstreet HQ, Downers Grove – Passed in 1988, the Fair Share Road Improvement Impact Fee Ordinance (DOT 1688) has been repealed by the DuPage County Board as of May 23.
For context, during the 1980’s when DuPage County was in an expansion era the money collected from taxpayers was used to improve and support infrastructure during new construction projects such as highways and railways. The repeal of this ordinance will save taxpayers close to $1 million annually.
Illinois REALTORS® Senior Governmental Affairs Director (GAD) Jeff Merrinette weighed in on the repeal and how it impacts Mainstreet members. Mainstreet REALTORS® have been working to have the Impact Fee repealed for 15 years. “This lowers cost in housing development and it can save a single-family home nearly $1200 in new construction costs. It is a fee that could save homeowners $70,000,000 in the next decade because of its nonexistence.”
DuPage County Board Chair Deborah Conroy explained what eliminating this ordinance will do for the developers and contractors in the county, “By eliminating this fee, we will streamline construction processes and give developers another reason to locate new building projects or improve existing buildings in DuPage.”
Brian Palm spoke on behalf of Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS®, representing the Mainstreet Board of Directors (BOD) supporting the repeal. “The time has come to remove this fee and save homeowners and DuPage County taxpayers the time and expense this fee incurs.” Following Brian Palm was Governmental Affairs Central Committee (GACC) Chair Heidi Bolger who also addressed board members with her endorsement of the repeal. While at the podium she offered her perspective, “While it has served its purpose in the past, today it stands as a barrier to homeownership and economic vitality.”
The repeal of DOT 1688 is due to the difficulty in spending the funds, as the dynamic growth of DuPage County in 1988 has gradually decreased in the two decades that followed. The restrictions on what the funds may or may not be used for are hyper-specific and require strenuous effort for staff to expend.
DuPage County Board Member Patty Gustin echoed the accompanying statements to repeal the Impact Fee stating that, “I think it will really help with our affordability issue because those are costs that are pushed down on to consumers. Making this change is an asset and a benefit to our community.”
Erasing the Impact Fee means DuPage homeowners are keeping more of their money. It’s rare that residents in Illinois see a reduction in their yearly taxes. Mainstreet recognizes and applauds the persistent collective efforts from their REALTOR® members, BOD representatives and Illinois REALTORS® Senior GAD Jeff Merrinette.