The quarterly meeting of the DeKalb Area Rental Association (DARA) along with the DeKalb County Builders and Developers Association (DCBDA) was held as a joint meeting on Thursday evening at Fatty’s Pub in DeKalb. The event was for DARA and DCBDA members, guests and concerned rental building owners. The Novak room was filled with people interested in hearing comments from local political officials that represent the DeKalb area. State Representatives Jeff Keicher and Tom Demmer along with State Senator Dave Syverson were present for a round table discussion and Question/Answer session.
The content of comments addressed Rent Control and the ‘Sealing of Eviction Records’, as well as other topics that are affecting the economic growth in the State of Illinois. The meeting was monitored by DCBDA member Ken Anderson (Kirkland). The three political attendees had a chance for opening remarks and then prevailed themselves for questions from those in attendance.
Before the guest speakers, others in attendance spoke to the audience. Sycamore Mayor Curt Lang spoke on some new projects affecting the Sycamore area including the planting of trees to honor Veterans. DeKalb Mayor Jerry Smith spoke on the proposed project in the works south of I88 and the positive effect it will have on the local housing markets. Mayor Smith and Lang both spoke on the importance of the 2020 census. Local businessman and military veteran activists Michael Embrey spoke on veteran projects including the ‘reserved for veteran parking signs’ that are becoming more visible in the DeKalb community, with more local businesses signing on to have reserved parking for veterans, including Aspen Ridge Business Park, Beef Shack, and Red Roof Inn.
Representative Jeff Keicher spoke first and addressed that some progress was being made in Springfield unifing members of both parties. He was disappointed when a group of bi-partisan members spent 22 hours cutting 125 million dollars of wasteful spending and then members supported by Madigan reinstated the cuts and added an additional 5% to the spendings.
State Senator Dave Syverson spoke second and addressed some issues on housing and how select members of the state house and senate have challenged rules that would affect the rental property owners. Several state legislators are trying to remove a checkbox on rental applications that require renters to state if they are felons. A similar group of state politicians wants the same felon checkbox removed for college admissions applications. If this issue is past rental owners will have limited resources with problem renters.
State Representative Tom Demmer spoke on the importance of state legislators’ voting to remove obstacles from allowing large corporations moving into the state. The state of Illinois has lost businesses because of state taxing processes. Demmer also spoke on the cost of Chicago School teacher’s pay raise will affect the rest of the state in hard cost and pensions.
Questions were taken from the audience. Local businessman Will Heinisch ask about pending ‘rent control’ and was told this issue will return in spring 2020. Taxes were of concern from many in attendance and Syverson said that Governor JB Pritzker’s proposal to tax the rich is extremely misleading. Pritzker has a net worth of $3.4 billion, and is the richest politician in the U.S., ahead of President Donald Trump. The sad part of Pritzker’s wealth is very little is taxed in the State of Illinois, with most funds in trusts and offshore accounts. Without the current politicians willing to state the percent to be taxed, the amount can change at the whim of the Governor. To tax the rich would not work in Illinois as seeing what happened in New York State and New Jersey. After these two states created a tax the wealthy program, the rich people (who can afford to) moved out of state creating an additional tax burden on the middle class.
The final comment from the audience dealt with how do landlords that are respectable and play by the rules deal with less than quality landlords like the Hunter Property group in DeKalb. The Hunter group has over $100,000 in property fines that have not been paid. The three guest speakers said this is a local problem but does affect the future of DeKalb or any other Illinois community.
DARA is a 501-C organization based in DeKalb (IL).