Ideas Illinois Chairman Baise believes Pritzker probe should flush any chance of a new tax hike
In the wake of reports that Gov. J.B. Pritzker and at least two members of his family are under federal review for steps they took to assure themselves a property tax break, Ideas Illinois chairman Greg Baise said he does not see how the Democratic governor can continue his efforts to implement a tax hike.
"Gov. Pritzker should immediately abandon his push for this massive jobs tax on middle-class families because he can't expect people to pay more when he is reportedly under criminal investigation for gaming the system to pay less,” Baise said in a statement. "The governor likes to call his push for more taxes ‘fair’ but it's clear he knows nothing about fairness or equity. He needs to drop his push for this jobs tax that will only hurt middle-class families even further."
WBEZ Radio reports the formal probe began last October, roughly a month before Pritzker was elected governor and shortly after the Sun-Times reported that he and his wife had five toilets removed from their Gold Coast property so that it would be declared “uninhabitable” so their property tax rates would drastically be reduced.
In all, WBEZ reports that the Pritzkers saved around $331,000, as the assessed market value of the home tumbled from more than $6.25 million to less than $1.08 million. Following an investigation, Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard declared the act a “scheme to defraud.”
Earlier this week, Marc Elias, an attorney for the family from the firm of Perkins Coie, released a statement insisting that “neither the governor nor the first lady have been contacted by law enforcement regarding the property tax appeal. We are confident that any further review of the matter will show that the appropriate rules were followed.”