Toilets & Skyscrapers: How Chicagoland's Elite Push Property Tax Bills Onto Average Joes | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Toilets & Skyscrapers: How Chicagoland's Elite Push Property Tax Bills Onto Average Joes

Authored by Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner via,

Many of Chicagoland’s elite know exactly how to pass the property-tax buck onto other residents. For decades they’ve used their powerful connections to cut their own property tax bills and push the costs onto other unsuspecting residents. And that’s left many lower-income homeowners footing ever-larger tax bills.

The latest, most blatant example is Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s removal of toilets from one of his two Chicago mansions. Pritzker ripped out the toilets and convinced then-Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios the home was “uninhabitable.”

That move tanked the assessed value of the home and reduced Pritzker’s property tax bill by nearly $100,000. His tax savings became tax hikes for other homeowners.

While Pritzker’s actions are scandalous, they are nothing new in Illinois. House Speaker Mike Madigan and Chicago Alderman Ed Burke’s law firms have been helping commercial property owners in Chicago lower the assessed values of their buildings for decades, to values far lower than the buildings are worth. That’s where the big dollars are, as we highlight later in this piece.

But Pritzker’s actions exemplify exactly how the system works. Learn the tricks, “torture the data,” hire a well-connected lawyer and get the assessor’s buy-in. And just like that, a tax bill is cut.

Smaller tax bills for some doesn’t mean a local government takes in less in taxes. Instead, the city and county’s remaining residents are required to make up the difference.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

But...but...but... President Obama represented the people of Illinois as their Senator from 2005 to 2008; and he couldn't (or wouldn't) do anything to fix this mess?!?