Statement Concerning City of Chicago's Proposed Ordinance Amending Refuse Removal | Chicago Association of REALTORS®

ISSUE SUMMARY:

The Chicago City Council is removing grandfather clauses which allowed the landlords of smaller buildings removal of garbage by the City of Chicago.  The proposed ordinance will drop that benefit down to owners of four buildings or fewer.  Impacted owners will need to find private waste haulers to remove garbage weekly or face fines.

STATEMENT OF THE CHICAGO ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® regarding City of Chicago’s Proposed Ordinance amending Municipal Code Section 7-28-240 concerning refuse removal in multiple dwellings and occupation units:

The Chicago Association of REALTORS® empathizes with the sponsors of this ordinance, who clearly have the best intensions in dealing with the complicated issues of the City’s finances.  In fact, we are not in philosophical disagreement with the members of the City Council, in that every area where revenue can be found and efficiencies can be optimized, that effort is untaken so opportunities are fully investigated, identifying who is impacted and to what extent.

That stated, while we are acutely aware of the significant fiscal problems the City of Chicago is currently experiencing, we are opposing the proposal as presented today.

REALTORS® object to the addition of any added costs to small landlords in the form of increased property taxes, new regulations or higher fees that impact affordability, such as today’s proposal, which expands the scope to recoup costs of garbage removal for buildings, some of which may be owner-occupied, which is of great concern to us.

These costs, averaging over 1200 dollars annually, may be passed through to tenants, resulting in higher rents in these smaller buildings and impacting working families in many communities in Chicago for years to come.  REALTORS® further assert that the property taxes that these owners of smaller buildings are paying currently should include the vital service of refuse removal, especially for owner-occupied buildings.

“Increasing fees, regulations and taxes on small businesses like landlords, regardless of size, have an impact on overall affordability in Chicago and an immediate impact on consumers,” said Chicago Association of REALTORS® President Hugh Rider.  “Together, we must find ways to keep Chicago affordable for everyone.”

The path to maintaining affordability for working families in the Chicago rental market is keeping taxes, regulations and fees in check.  REALTORS® urge the City Council to look at other ways to increase revenue without negatively impacting landlords and the families who rent from them.

View the proposed ordinance in full

The Chicago Association of REALTORS® and the Illinois Association of REALTORS® represent 14,000 members in Chicago and 40,000 members across Illinois.