Pritzker offers 'laughable' rationale for property tax cut, GOP says
J.B. Pritzker finds enough loopholes in the law to push a mansion through, the Illinois Republican Party suggested recently, calling out the Democratic gubernatorial candidate for a "laughable excuse" when it came to paying property taxes.
“I followed the rules with regard to my property taxes,” Prtizker told NBC Chicago. “Fifty thousand people across the county of Cook apply for property tax reassessment every single year, and almost 64 percent of those people are granted a reassessment.”
Pritzker has received tax breaks of nearly $230,000 in taxes on two Gold Coast properties: his main residence and the mansion next door, which received a significantly lower assessment upon appeal. The change came after Pritzker’s tax attorney argued that the mansion was uninhabitable, as the toilets and kitchen had been removed since Pritzker purchased the property, which stands vacant.
Not long after word of Pritzker's tax break surfaced, the Chicago Tribune ran an investigative series on what it ultimately determined to be an unfair property system throughout the Chicago area. It found that by and large, poorer homeowners paid a much larger share of property taxes than wealthy residents, and that wealthy residents were more likely to apply for and receive lower assessments.
"Pritzker is abusing vacancy laws by claiming that a multi-million-dollar mansion is uninhabitable," the GOP said in a press release. "How many Cook County residents trashed a luxurious mansion and removed its toilets to get a quarter million dollar property tax break? Just one, J.B. Pritzker. Pritzker is claiming that it is appropriate he receives a tax refund four times the average family income in Illinois, and he has yet to apologize or show any remorse."