On Wednesday, September 14th the Chicago City Council approved a new water and sewer tax that will go into effect in 2017.
The tax will start at 7% of the water and sewer bill in 2017 and increase 7% every year to 28% by 2020. This tax is on top of an annual rate increase determined by the applying the previous year's rate of inflation as determined by the Consumer Price Index.
Current inflation rates have hovered around 1% for the last year, however they have ranged from 2.1 to .1 since 2012. HausFS is recommending a 10% increase to Water and Sewer budgets for 2017 to account for both a rate increase and the added 7% tax. This should give most associations plenty of wiggle room for their water and sewer expense in 2017 and is still lower than historical increases of 15%.
It's a great time to start thinking about how your association can save water to reduce your overall water and sewer bill and to investigate potential leaks.
(Note that for buildings receiving waste removal service from the City, there is now an additional $9.50 per unit Garbage Fee added to your water and sewer bill. City pickup is available to buildings of 4 units or fewer.)
Beginning January 1, 2017, the Common Interest Community Association Act and the Condominium Property Act will be amended in regards to “acceptable technological means.” These means will now be described as any generally available technology that is deemed to provide security, reliability, identification and verifiability, by the association. However, the use of acceptable technological means does not apply to notices that are required under the following circumstances:
Technological means may also be used to send, receive, sign, vote, consent or approve any notices. It may also be used to perform obligations or exercise rights, such as voting.
(Note that a condo association must first adopt Rules & Regulations specifically allowing the use of technological means for voting in order to conduct elections or other owner votes in such a manner.)
On January 1, 2017, the Condominium Property Act will be amended. Language will be taken out that previously allowed an association's declaration to require an owner vote to assign the association's right to future income.
Since associations do not hold physical property, the right to future assessments is given to a bank as collateral for any loan extended to the association. This protects the interests of the bank. Currently, if a board wanted to take out a loan on behalf of the association they would potentially have to hold an owner vote to make this decision, if required by the declaration.
Beginning in 2017, boards will no longer be required to hold an owner vote to approve a loan even if the declaration currently states that an owner vote is required. The decision will exclusively be a board decision.
The city of Chicago wants your empty sunscreen bottles, but not your old pizza boxes! Read below for recycling updates: