All candidates agree that gun violence is a major issue, but Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy says that he has a unique way to approach the problem.
Kennedy said Friday that instead of just focusing on gun violence as a public health crisis, the state should instead focus on addressing inequities in the property tax system so that they have money to spend on creating alternatives and opportunities for young people.
“We need resources. We need to reinvest in education, and our community policing,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy says that the money for those types of programs has stagnated because of the way Illinois politics has influenced the way property taxes are collected.
“When we are allowing a handful of connected lawyers, like the leadership of the Democratic Party, to artificially reduce the value of our buildings (and) to deny that tax revenue that should have fully funded our schools, we are allowing our political leaders to destroy our economy and our kids,” he said.
Kennedy cited a pair of buildings in Chicago that he says have been fraudulently assessed: the Willis Tower, located in the South Loop, and 300 North LaSalle, located along the Chicago River.
“(Those) two are so fraudulently under-assessed that a full $50 million a year in tax revenue has gone missing,” he said.
The candidate says that investing in economic opportunities is one part of his eight-point plan to combat gun violence in the city of Chicago.
Other candidates have also called for changes to the property tax system, including State Senator Daniel Biss, who introduced legislation to fix what he called a “rigged system,” and businessman J.B. Pritzker, who has called the property tax system “flawed and inequitable.”