The State of Illinois and Cook County impose transfer taxes on the sale of real estate, as do a number of municipalities.
The Village of Wilmette's transfer tax is $3 per $1,000, and it's the responsibility of the buyer – although, like everything else in a real estate transaction, who actually pays it is negotiable.
Revenue from real estate transfer taxes is a good proxy for the health of the real estate market – a strong market results in increased revenues and revenues plummet in a weak market.
According to a recent Trib Local report, Wilmette budgeted for $990,000 in transfer tax revenues in 2011 and expects to realize $250,000 less than that by year-end.
The Village of Wilmette is budgeting $762,000 in transfer taxes for next year, a 3% increase over this year and an indication that Wilmette is not expecting a strong rebound in housing sales in 2012.