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Tax Fraud, or Another Day in Illinois

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Shrillland
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Tax Fraud, or Another Day in Illinois

Postby Shrillland » Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:29 pm

Well, here in Illinois, our Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker has reached his 100th day in office, so, of course, he's possibly being investigated by the Feds.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-met-jb-pritzker-property-tax-appeal-20190424-story.html

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s removal of toilets from an Astor Street mansion to gain a property tax break, a move that gained notoriety during his recent election campaign, is under review by federal prosecutors, WBEZ-FM 91.5 reported Wednesday.

The report, attributed to an unnamed “law enforcement source,” said Pritzker, his wife, M.K., and his brother-in-law, Thomas Muenster, were part of the federal review. The station reported that the review began last October and said there were no signs that any charges were imminent.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago would not confirm or deny any investigation of Pritzker.

At an unrelated Chicago news conference, Pritzker said he and his wife had not been contacted by law enforcement and were unaware of any review until WBEZ aired its report.

“Let me be clear that I’m very confident that any review of this matter will show that all the rules were followed,” said Pritzker, who in the past contended the property tax situation was largely a political issue raised by then-Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s re-election campaign.

Asked if he was concerned about the matter, Pritzker said: “No concerns at all. As I say ... any review of this will show that all the rules were followed.”

A report from Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard made public in October contended Pritzker’s Astor Street property was improperly classified as uninhabitable in part due to the removal of toilets at the mansion. Blanchard called it a “scheme to defraud” taxpayers.

Blanchard concluded that Pritzker's wife asked a contractor in 2015 to remove the mansion's five toilets to make the home uninhabitable so it could be reassessed at a lower value. M.K. Pritzker's brother and her personal assistant, Christine Lovely, later made "false representations" in sworn affidavits to the assessor about the mansion's condition and when the toilets were removed, Blanchard said.

Following Blanchard’s report, Pritzker repaid the county treasurer’s office more than $330,000 for the value of tax refunds and tax breaks on the property. Pritzker said the repayment was not an acknowledgment of anything improper, but was made to get past an issue he considered distracting to the governor’s campaign.

Pritzker at the time said that “there was nothing new in this report” and that he “abided by the rules” for seeking a reduction in his property assessment.

But Rauner contended Pritzker made the repayment to the county “because you got caught” and said the Democrat had committed “white-collar crime.” Rauner spent millions of dollars in TV ads to attack Pritzker’s character of the issue. One ad declared Pritzker the “porcelain prince of tax avoidance.”

Cook County watchdog says 'scheme to defraud' saved Pritzker $330,000 in property taxes
In his report, issued five weeks before the general election in which Pritzker defeated Rauner, Blanchard included references to the state perjury law and the federal conspiracy and mail fraud statutes, but he stopped short of saying whether he referred the matter to law enforcement. Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office in October said a special investigations unit was reviewing Blanchard’s report. A Foxx spokeswoman on Wednesday said the office “cannot confirm or deny an investigation.”

After the release of Blanchard’s report, Illinois' Republican U.S. House members called for a federal investigation of Pritzker's tax break.

The scope of any federal review was unclear. Pritzker’s campaign had paid the Perkins Coie law firm a total of $1.5 million since he launched his bid for governor, including $465,456 since Jan. 1, state campaign finance records show.

Marc Elias, a Perkins Coie partner who represents the Pritzkers, did not respond to a request for comment.

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi and his predecessor, Joe Berrios, both said on Tuesday they had no knowledge of any federal review.

The WBEZ report comes as Pritzker served his 100th day in office and at a crucial time for the first-term governor’s agenda in Springfield, where lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn at the end of May.

Pritzker is seeking legislative passage of a state constitutional amendment that would ask voters in 2020 to get rid of the state’s flat-rate income tax in favor of a graduated-rate income tax that levies a higher tax on higher incomes.

The tax plan was the theme of Pritzker’s overall agenda as he seeks shorter-term legislative victories by legalizing recreational use of marijuana and sports betting to help balance his proposed budget. He’s also seeking a comprehensive public works improvement plan, which remains under negotiations.

How a potential federal review of Pritzker’s property tax issue would affect efforts in Springfield is uncertain. Democrats have strong veto-proof majorities over Republicans in the state House and Senate, but adverse news about Pritzker could diminish his leverage with more experienced and savvy politicians like veteran House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Republicans, who oppose Pritzker’s income-tax plan, were quick to pounce. A group opposing the graduated-tax plan, Illinois Ideas, urged Pritzker to abandon his proposal. The group is headed by Greg Baise, the former president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association.

Illinois House Republican leader Jim Durkin used the report to criticize Pritzker’s push to change the income-tax structure.

“It was concerning last fall when the inspector general from Cook County made his findings. It’s even more concerning right now. But my humble advice to the governor is that before he asks for more taxes upon Illinois families and employers, he should get his own taxes in order,” Durkin told reporters after speaking to the City Club of Chicago.

“It is concerning as a member of the legislature, particularly in the last month that we have a lot of big issues and this may get involved with some of the issues that we have to get solved,” he said. “But getting back to my original point, this is not a time to start talking about tax increases, particularly when this issue is looming over the governor.”


Basically, and I may have mentioned this last year during the Midterm threads, what happened is that Pritzker decided that he could save property tax money on a mansion that he and his family had in Chicago by removing all the toilets and having it reassessed as unsuitable for habitation. The Cook County Assessor's office has claimed that he ended up saving $330,000 on his tax bill because of this trick, and WBEZ, Chicago's NPR station, is saying that he's now being investigated by the Feds, though the Feds are of course neither confirming nor denying and the County is unaware of this.

This is becoming a bigger issue as Pritzker's been pushing to amend the State Constitution next year to allow a progressive income tax, which is currently not allowed.

So, what do you guys think of this possible bombshell....if this didn't happen every 20 minutes that is?

I'm not surprised, shocked, or even all that disgusted at the move itself, it's actually a brilliant money-saving move objectively speaking. But it does show the kind of people we have in control, and it does show why I make jokes about Soviet Illinois. Watch this space and the news as this develops, and it probably will develop in the coming weeks and months.
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Postby The New California Republic » Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:41 pm

Shrillland wrote:Pritzker decided that he could save property tax money on a mansion that he and his family had in Chicago by removing all the toilets and having it reassessed as unsuitable for habitation. The Cook County Assessor's office has claimed that he ended up saving $330,000 on his tax bill because of this trick

Fucking lol. Politicians are full of shit but they remove all the toilets. :roll:
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Postby Loben » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:04 pm

A Illinois governor in hot water? Say it ain’t so.

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Postby Shrillland » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:05 pm

Loben wrote:A Illinois governor in hot water? Say it ain’t so.


Well, our last one wasn't, to his credit, nor was Quinn before him, really.
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Postby Loben » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:06 pm

Shrillland wrote:
Loben wrote:A Illinois governor in hot water? Say it ain’t so.


Well, our last one wasn't, to his credit, nor was Quinn before him, really.

2 in the span of 20 years ain’t a good record. All I’m saying.

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Postby Likar » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:07 pm

Loben wrote:A Illinois governor in hot water? Say it ain’t so.

The only water he is in is the stuff of Flint.
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Postby Shrillland » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:07 pm

Loben wrote:
Shrillland wrote:
Well, our last one wasn't, to his credit, nor was Quinn before him, really.

2 in the span of 20 years ain’t a good record. All I’m saying.


Yeah, 2 out of 5 is pretty bad...from both parties to boot.
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Postby New Excalibus » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:11 pm

>me, an illinoiser
>another frickin' governor commits tax fraud
>*sigh*
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Postby Shrillland » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:12 pm

New Excalibus wrote:>me, an illinoiser
>another frickin' governor commits tax fraud
>*sigh*


I know the pain, I've lived here my entire life.
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Postby The Chuck » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:14 pm

Little bit of American Business law... Tax Avoidance: Perfectly legal. Tax Evasion: 100% illegal. Looking at this from a business student perspective I actually laughed out loud. Although this is quite the "shitty" thing for the governor to do, he probably will get away with this crap. Hopefully a court can get him pegged but highly doubtful due to the power he carries. Thanks for the laugh Shrillland!

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Postby Shrillland » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:18 pm

The Chuck wrote:Little bit of American Business law... Tax Avoidance: Perfectly legal. Tax Evasion: 100% illegal. Looking at this from a business student perspective I actually laughed out loud. Although this is quite the "shitty" thing for the governor to do, he probably will get away with this crap. Hopefully a court can get him pegged but highly doubtful due to the power he carries. Thanks for the laugh Shrillland!

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They might figure something out...it took three years to nail Blagojevich, but it was done. And you're welcome, and I'm sorry that all we can be is a source of jokes.
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Postby Bombadil » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:26 pm

America sure does like voting in multi-millionaire tax avoiders.
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Postby Joohan » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:32 pm

Shrillland wrote:Well, here in Illinois, our Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker has reached his 100th day in office, so, of course, he's possibly being investigated by the Feds.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-met-jb-pritzker-property-tax-appeal-20190424-story.html

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s removal of toilets from an Astor Street mansion to gain a property tax break, a move that gained notoriety during his recent election campaign, is under review by federal prosecutors, WBEZ-FM 91.5 reported Wednesday.

The report, attributed to an unnamed “law enforcement source,” said Pritzker, his wife, M.K., and his brother-in-law, Thomas Muenster, were part of the federal review. The station reported that the review began last October and said there were no signs that any charges were imminent.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago would not confirm or deny any investigation of Pritzker.

At an unrelated Chicago news conference, Pritzker said he and his wife had not been contacted by law enforcement and were unaware of any review until WBEZ aired its report.

“Let me be clear that I’m very confident that any review of this matter will show that all the rules were followed,” said Pritzker, who in the past contended the property tax situation was largely a political issue raised by then-Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s re-election campaign.

Asked if he was concerned about the matter, Pritzker said: “No concerns at all. As I say ... any review of this will show that all the rules were followed.”

A report from Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard made public in October contended Pritzker’s Astor Street property was improperly classified as uninhabitable in part due to the removal of toilets at the mansion. Blanchard called it a “scheme to defraud” taxpayers.

Blanchard concluded that Pritzker's wife asked a contractor in 2015 to remove the mansion's five toilets to make the home uninhabitable so it could be reassessed at a lower value. M.K. Pritzker's brother and her personal assistant, Christine Lovely, later made "false representations" in sworn affidavits to the assessor about the mansion's condition and when the toilets were removed, Blanchard said.

Following Blanchard’s report, Pritzker repaid the county treasurer’s office more than $330,000 for the value of tax refunds and tax breaks on the property. Pritzker said the repayment was not an acknowledgment of anything improper, but was made to get past an issue he considered distracting to the governor’s campaign.

Pritzker at the time said that “there was nothing new in this report” and that he “abided by the rules” for seeking a reduction in his property assessment.

But Rauner contended Pritzker made the repayment to the county “because you got caught” and said the Democrat had committed “white-collar crime.” Rauner spent millions of dollars in TV ads to attack Pritzker’s character of the issue. One ad declared Pritzker the “porcelain prince of tax avoidance.”

Cook County watchdog says 'scheme to defraud' saved Pritzker $330,000 in property taxes
In his report, issued five weeks before the general election in which Pritzker defeated Rauner, Blanchard included references to the state perjury law and the federal conspiracy and mail fraud statutes, but he stopped short of saying whether he referred the matter to law enforcement. Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office in October said a special investigations unit was reviewing Blanchard’s report. A Foxx spokeswoman on Wednesday said the office “cannot confirm or deny an investigation.”

After the release of Blanchard’s report, Illinois' Republican U.S. House members called for a federal investigation of Pritzker's tax break.

The scope of any federal review was unclear. Pritzker’s campaign had paid the Perkins Coie law firm a total of $1.5 million since he launched his bid for governor, including $465,456 since Jan. 1, state campaign finance records show.

Marc Elias, a Perkins Coie partner who represents the Pritzkers, did not respond to a request for comment.

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi and his predecessor, Joe Berrios, both said on Tuesday they had no knowledge of any federal review.

The WBEZ report comes as Pritzker served his 100th day in office and at a crucial time for the first-term governor’s agenda in Springfield, where lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn at the end of May.

Pritzker is seeking legislative passage of a state constitutional amendment that would ask voters in 2020 to get rid of the state’s flat-rate income tax in favor of a graduated-rate income tax that levies a higher tax on higher incomes.

The tax plan was the theme of Pritzker’s overall agenda as he seeks shorter-term legislative victories by legalizing recreational use of marijuana and sports betting to help balance his proposed budget. He’s also seeking a comprehensive public works improvement plan, which remains under negotiations.

How a potential federal review of Pritzker’s property tax issue would affect efforts in Springfield is uncertain. Democrats have strong veto-proof majorities over Republicans in the state House and Senate, but adverse news about Pritzker could diminish his leverage with more experienced and savvy politicians like veteran House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Republicans, who oppose Pritzker’s income-tax plan, were quick to pounce. A group opposing the graduated-tax plan, Illinois Ideas, urged Pritzker to abandon his proposal. The group is headed by Greg Baise, the former president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association.

Illinois House Republican leader Jim Durkin used the report to criticize Pritzker’s push to change the income-tax structure.

“It was concerning last fall when the inspector general from Cook County made his findings. It’s even more concerning right now. But my humble advice to the governor is that before he asks for more taxes upon Illinois families and employers, he should get his own taxes in order,” Durkin told reporters after speaking to the City Club of Chicago.

“It is concerning as a member of the legislature, particularly in the last month that we have a lot of big issues and this may get involved with some of the issues that we have to get solved,” he said. “But getting back to my original point, this is not a time to start talking about tax increases, particularly when this issue is looming over the governor.”


Basically, and I may have mentioned this last year during the Midterm threads, what happened is that Pritzker decided that he could save property tax money on a mansion that he and his family had in Chicago by removing all the toilets and having it reassessed as unsuitable for habitation. The Cook County Assessor's office has claimed that he ended up saving $330,000 on his tax bill because of this trick, and WBEZ, Chicago's NPR station, is saying that he's now being investigated by the Feds, though the Feds are of course neither confirming nor denying and the County is unaware of this.

This is becoming a bigger issue as Pritzker's been pushing to amend the State Constitution next year to allow a progressive income tax, which is currently not allowed.

So, what do you guys think of this possible bombshell....if this didn't happen every 20 minutes that is?

I'm not surprised, shocked, or even all that disgusted at the move itself, it's actually a brilliant money-saving move objectively speaking. But it does show the kind of people we have in control, and it does show why I make jokes about Soviet Illinois. Watch this space and the news as this develops, and it probably will develop in the coming weeks and months.


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Postby The Liberated Territories » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:34 pm

Tax avoidance isn't fraud. Fake news.
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Postby Saiwania » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:36 pm

This man shouldn't need to pay $330,000 in taxes each year, unless the property owned is worth exponentially more than that. It's still quite a high burden. A lot of people don't even earn six figures per year, so someone who inherited a lot of stuff but isn't actually a high earner, is screwed unless they downsize.

The property tax shouldn't be that sky high.

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Postby Shrillland » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:37 pm

The Liberated Territories wrote:Tax avoidance isn't fraud. Fake news.


Not strictly speaking, I suppose, but the possible investigation is supposed to be looking in. They'll probably come to the same conclusion, but it'll leave a mark on Pritzker with some voters and on Madigan, I'm sure.
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Postby The Galactic Liberal Democracy » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:49 pm

Force him to build concrete outhouses on his property.
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Postby Gormwood » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:50 pm

Bombadil wrote:America sure does like voting in multi-millionaire tax avoiders.

They hope some of that multi-millions rubs off on them.
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Postby Shrillland » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:53 pm

Saiwania wrote:This man shouldn't need to pay $330,000 in taxes each year, unless the property owned is worth exponentially more than that. It's still quite a high burden. A lot of people don't even earn six figures per year, so someone who inherited a lot of stuff but isn't actually a high earner, is screwed unless they downsize.

The property tax shouldn't be that sky high.


Well, I actually agree with you on this...

Illinois does have one of the highest property tax rates in the nation second only to New Jersey, and it's because the rest of the state's tax code is so hopelessly fucked, which is also a major source of the Pension Crisis.
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Postby Thermodolia » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:55 pm

Gormwood wrote:
Bombadil wrote:America sure does like voting in multi-millionaire tax avoiders.

They hope some of that multi-millions rubs off on them.

In case you didn’t realize it Illinois is a Democrat controlled state. Unless of course you’re admitting that the democrats are just as shitty and morally bankrupt as the republicans
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Postby Gormwood » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:01 pm

Thermodolia wrote:
Gormwood wrote:They hope some of that multi-millions rubs off on them.

In case you didn’t realize it Illinois is a Democrat controlled state. Unless of course you’re admitting that the democrats are just as shitty and morally bankrupt as the republicans

:eek:

There was no mention of party affiliation there, but if you want to make it a partisan issue then Governor ranks below President.
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Postby Thermodolia » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:03 pm

Gormwood wrote:
Thermodolia wrote:In case you didn’t realize it Illinois is a Democrat controlled state. Unless of course you’re admitting that the democrats are just as shitty and morally bankrupt as the republicans

:eek:

There was no mention of party affiliation there, but if you want to make it a partisan issue then Governor ranks below President.

Do you really think we are that stupid Gauth?
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Postby Thermodolia » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:04 pm

So Lord Madigan got tired of the Governor already?
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Eternal Lotharia
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5370
Founded: Dec 27, 2017
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Eternal Lotharia » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:05 pm

Shrillland wrote:
New Excalibus wrote:>me, an illinoiser
>another frickin' governor commits tax fraud
>*sigh*


I know the pain, I've lived here my entire life.

Oregon and Utah on the other hand never do anything of note.

Which is worse? :p
2020 congress rp/social experiment mix. Jump in!
Keyboard being a pain. Will take longer to do stuff until further notice.
This flag does not represent my nation being evil or nazi, fascist, etc., it's not. I'm also not any of those.
This nation's Policies partially represent my views, partially are experimental, same thing with how my nation is in RP.
Left-Wing Christian Pro-Life Pragmatic Populist. Oregonian.
Candidate for City Council of a large city.
The Xenopolis Confederation wrote:
Eternal Lotharia wrote:Just like your life.

Woah. Okay. Harsh. True, but harsh.

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Hammer Britannia
Senator
 
Posts: 4511
Founded: Oct 08, 2016
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Hammer Britannia » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:09 pm

Eternal Lotharia wrote:
Shrillland wrote:
I know the pain, I've lived here my entire life.

Oregon and Utah on the other hand never do anything of note.

Which is worse? :p

Utah has Goblin Valley State Park, so I think they're better
The FN FAL fetishist, Bisexual Libertarian Pagan, 27-year-old Boomer your mom warned you about
Buy my Chemical Weapons pls.
People ask "could", but nobody asks "should"
Click here for free cake.
Be a sourceless Libertarian Greek Pagan who calls everyone he doesn't like Communist

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