Local realtors warn high property taxes are turning away homebuyers


Ed Neaves of the Bloomington-Normal Association of Realtors and the statewide group Illinois Realtors criticized the Normal Town Council’s reliance on property taxes to fund police and fire pensions. He said high taxes are turning away prospective homebuyers.


By Howard Packowitz

NORMAL – High property taxes are dragging down the local economy, and causing prospective homeowners to look elsewhere, according to area realtors.

The Normal Town Council voted unanimously Monday night to raise property taxes to cover the cost of rising police and firefighter pensions.

Ed Neaves, Past-President of the Bloomington-Normal Association of Realtors and Treasurer of the statewide Illinois Realtors organization, said local governments like Normal rely too heavily on property taxes.

“These kind of decisions that we understand as an organization, local governments have to make to meet their legal obligations. We get it,” said Neaves.

“But as the same time, there should be alternatives that you can look at besides always going to private property owners,” He added.

Neaves said high property taxes are turning people away, and he said it’s one of the reasons why the community is seeing a decline in existing home sales and new home construction.

“It’s a big deal when people come in and they decide they don’t want to move here because of the taxes,” said Neaves.

“We lose a person coming in. We lose a family for the community, and we lose income for both towns,” Neaves also said.

The council’s action raises the tax bill by $40 for the owner of a $165,000 home.

Neaves was one of 11 speakers who addressed the council at a public hearing Monday night.

Howard Packowitz can be reached at [email protected].


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