Attempting to bridge a $1.2 million hole in its budget, the city council of Peoria, Ill., planned to impose a new fee on owners of all residential and commercial property. The proposed fee, which was expected to increase over time with no end in sight, was not going to get by the Peoria Association of REALTORS® without a fight. With help from the state association and the REALTOR® Party, the REALTORS® used Advocacy Everywhere and other measures to call voters’ attention to the threat and encourage calls of opposition to the city council. Overwhelmed by the volume, the Council agreed to a compromise.
The fee passed, but in a reduced version of the original proposal: The fee itself was lowered, and a sunset clause limited the duration to three years. Says Hancock, “We’re glad for the compromise. More than that, we really raised awareness among voters in the community. Our REALTORS® saw the advocacy system at work; the public saw REALTORS® in action; and elected leadership experienced the impact of the REALTOR® Party collaborative efforts. That’s a big win.”