Baby, You're A Rich Man - NBC Chicago
Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Baby, You're A Rich Man



    Bruce Rauner, the wealthy political novice who wants to be governor, got in trouble last week for claiming homestead exemptions on all three of his residences. Writes Crain’s Chicago Business: 

    The law says you're supposed to get the tax break on only one residence, but Mr. Rauner for several years declared it on a Winnetka home, and on a Chicago penthouse and a condo located in the same building.
    Rauner spokesman Chip Englander described the situation as "an oversight that was corrected immediately" after the Herald ran its story. Indeed, Mr. Rauner last Thursday wrote a $1,616 check to Cook County compensating it for what it was owed.
    However, since October 2008, Mr. Rauner's legal voting residence has been at 340 E. Randolph St. in Chicago.  
    So, where does Mr. Rauner live? In Chicago, where he votes, or in Winnetka, where he gets the tax break and where his wife, Diana Rauner, is registered to vote?
    Ward Room is less concerned with where Rauner lives -- all three residences are in Illinois, so any one qualifies him to be governor -- than with how much his properties are worth. He has touted his business success as a reason to elect him governor, so we wanted to make sure he’s as wealthy as he says he is. So we looked on the websites of the Cook County Recorder of Deeds and the Cook County Assessor, which allow nosy people to get all up in any property owner's business.
    Rauner owns a 6,807-square foot house at 720 Rosewood Ave. in Winnetka. He purchased it in 1995 for $830,000, upgrading from a 2,606-square foot house at 600 Cedar St. It is now valued at $2,943,010. Even by Winnetka standards, that’s upper class (although it’s still west of Green Bay Road, so maybe more economically than socially). But Rauner’s house has appreciated 254 percent since he bought it, which is better than a lot of property owners are doing. This shows he’s a shrewd investor and responsible with his money -- what we want in a governor.
    Rauner also owns a penthouse condo at 340 E. Randolph St., in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood, which he purchased in 2008 for $4,060,000. A second unit in that same building cost him $1,229,000.
    With over $8 million in private residences, it’s safe to say Bruce Rauner is a very, very rich man.