Republicans Continue Pushback on Pritzker Property Tax Reduction

on May18

17 May 2017 | 11:15 pm

After Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker defended his appeal of a property tax assessment on a property in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois Republicans fired back with a new advertisement. 

The ad, which was released Wednesday morning, ties Pritzker to Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and says that he manipulated the property tax system to receive over $200,000 in refunds on his property taxes.

The furor last week followed a Chicago Sun-Times report that Pritzker purchased the home next to his Gold Coast mansion and allowed it to fall into disrepair before having it declared “uninhabitable” in order to get a property tax refund. 

On Tuesday, Pritzker defended his decision to ask for the reduction in his property taxes, telling NBC 5 by phone that “everyone that appeals is attempting to get an accurate assessment on their property.” He says “we had plans to renovate the house” but then “it came to a standstill.”

Pritzker argued that the home next door to his is uninhabitable. Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios approved reducing Pritzker’s property taxes by 83 percent. He received three refund checks worth more than $123,000.

A Republican consultant, in response to Pritzker, shared documents indicating that the renovation work Pritzker planned for the home never included any structural improvements on the interior of the building. 

The document, an emailed estimate from a contractor to do work to the home next door to Pritzker’s mansion, detailed nearly $150,000 in repairs to the structure of the home, including masonry, stucco, and lumber, but no repairs were listed for the inside of the home. 

The controversy comes as Pritzker runs his second television commercial for his primary campaign that has voters going to the polls next March. Other Democrats seeking the nomination besides Pritzker and Kennedy include State Sen. Daniel Biss. Alderman Amaya Pawar and downstate school superintendent Bob Daiber.

Published at 6:15 PM CDT on May 17, 2017

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