Democratic candidate for Governor JB Pritzker defended Tuesday his decision to ask for a property tax reduction on the Gold Coast home that he purchased next to his mansion.
Pritzker tells NBC 5 by phone “everyone that appeals is attempting to get an accurate assessment on their property.” He says “we had plans to renovate the house” but then “it came to a standstill.”
Pritzker argues the home next door to his is uninhabitable. The Cook County Assessor's Office approved reducing Pritzker’s property taxes by 83 percent. He received three refunds checks worth more than $123,000.
Pritzker also notes “everyone in Cook County knows there’s something wrong with the system when there’s tens of thousands have to apply for reassessment.”
Pritzker’s real estate attorneys Schmidt, Salzman and Moran contributed more than $25,000 in campaign donations to Assessor Berrios. Pritzker initially said “I’m unaware of that.” But when it was pointed out that was reported Monday by WCIA TV, Pritzker added “someone brought it up for the very first time yesterday.” Pritzker noted several times that “Chris Kennedy and Bruce Rauner used the same process to appeal their taxes” and he adds “I support efforts to make sure that every property owner knows they can appeal.”
Rauner’s condo association for his Randolph Street condo requested the property tax appeal; but it was not granted. Published reports say Kennedy received a $10,000 reduction in his assessment.
Pritzker is currently running his second television commercial for his primary campaign that has voters going to the polls next March. Other Democrats seeking the nomination besides Pritzker and Kennedy include State Sen. Daniel Biss. Alderman Amaya Pawar and downstate school superintendent Bob Daiber.