Illinois Governor JB Pritzker recently attacked his critics and called on people to step down, especially those who challenge his lobbyist cronies. But he’s not shy about manipulating real estate to reduce the amount of state property taxes he owes on his multi-million properties. In one property, he removed the toilet from his $6.3million mansion when he moved into a cheaper neighboring house so the old property would be deemed uninhabitable so he could drastically reduce his utility bill. property tax. He wants others to resign over allegations, but shouldn’t he be the first official to resign?
By Ray Hanania
Gov. JB Pritzker, the Warbucks daddy of political hypocrisy, attacked several lawmakers last week demanding they resign from office.
One is Pritzker’s critic, Sen. Emil Jones III, who faces federal corruption charges.
The charges against Jones are similar to the charges against several other lawmakers, but Pritzker did not urge them to resign.
But should an elected official who manipulated his real estate information to significantly reduce his property taxes also resign from office?
Just before winning the gubernatorial election in November 2018, reports surfaced that Pritzker removed five toilets from his $6.3 million Astor Street mansion so the property could be reclassified as “uninhabitable”. He had bought the neighboring property worth $3.7 million.
Removing the toilet and being classified as “uninhabitable” reduced the value of Pritzker’s property from $6.3 million to $1.1 million and significantly lowered his property tax bill.
Property taxes on a $6.3 million home are about $343,000 per year. Property taxes on a home worth $1 million are about $54,000. Pritzker qualified for an additional $132,000 refund for past taxes.
The reduction made it easier for Pritzker to pay property taxes on his new “smaller” $3.7 million home, estimated to cost just $200,000 a year.
Once exposed, Pritzker complained that it was all “political”. And then he refunded the money. Former Governor Bruce Rauner told reporters, “A bank robber who returns the money is still a bank robber.”
It’s not like Pritzker can’t afford the higher property taxes easily. He is a wealthy billionaire who is worth over $3.2 billion.
Pritzker’s efforts to cut his own property taxes are tragically ironic, given that Illinois property taxes are the second highest in the nation, according to Illinois policy.
As governor, Pritzker could change all that, but he instead focused on himself. Property taxes were the second highest in the nation when he took office and are still the second highest in the nation today.
Illinois may be second worst when it comes to highest property taxes, but Pritzker is number one when it comes to hypocrisy.
Pritzker holds to rigid standards, for those he opposes; and he closes his eyes to those he supports. So for Pritzker, it really isn’t about taxpayers’ best interests.
For example, Pritzker said it was suspending the state gasoline tax for six months to ease the burden on taxpayers. But that was AFTER he doubled the state gas tax from 19 cents to 38 cents a gallon. It will be a double whammy for motorists and taxpayers AFTER the November 8 election.
Pritzker is giving himself breaks as doubling taxes for everyone isn’t Illinois’ only problem. Pritzker has failed to tackle rising crime in Chicago, and Illinois is his biggest problem.
Pritzker appointed the Illinois Prisoner Review Board which has the authority to impose conditions on people released from prison, determines whether someone has violated parole, and makes recommendations to the governor on clemency.
The Pritzker Prisoner Review Board released three prisoners who had been convicted of killing police officers.
Pritzker pushed through the Safe-T Act, misleading many lawmakers into believing that the law would be tough on crime and only lighten sentences for outright criminals. In fact, the Safe-T Act does more for criminals than it does to protect law-abiding citizens.
One of the provisions removes automatic cash bail for criminals, including murderers and rapists, giving judges the power to impose them. But Pritzker says efforts to change his law allow murderers to “pay for getting out of jail.”
Several lawmakers have said they will introduce significant amendments to correct the law’s serious pro-criminal benefits, but that’s only if Pritzker loses his grip on lawmakers who depend on his campaign largesse for their elections.
Several state attorneys in the county filed lawsuits to block Pritzker’s Safe-T Act, including two Democrats: Will County’s James Glasgow; and Jim Rowe of Kankakee County.
Pritzker lives in a glass house of hypocrisy, and without a toilet he’s full of you know what. But, he can always count on his lobbyist buddies and Capitol scribe buddies to back him up.
If Pritzker is re-elected, you might as well give the keys to your house and your car to criminals who have not posted bail, who have not been detained and who continue to roam the streets of Illinois without a law of Pritzker.
(Ray Hanania is an award-winning former Chicago City Hall reporter. A political analyst and CEO of Urban Strategies Group, Hanania’s opinion columns on current issues are published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group in Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers His columns on the Middle East appear in Arab News For more information on Ray Hanania, visit www.Hanania.com or email him -email to [email protected])
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