Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker, Biss, Berrios respond to Kennedy speech
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*** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker, Biss, Berrios respond to Kennedy speech

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Click here for the background if you missed it earlier. From JB Pritzker’s comms director Galia Slayen…

Today candidate Chris Kennedy held a political event trying to anoint himself as an ‘outsider’ and fighter against a broken property tax assessment system. But for years as a businessman and private citizen, Chris Kennedy personally hired what he now calls a ‘well connected law firm’ to lower his own home’s property taxes and used that same firm to lower the value on two business projects by nearly $9 million dollars. It’s laughable that millionaire Chris Kennedy is now railing against the exact same system he used to try and save millions.

Illinois’ property tax system needs to change, which is why months ago JB made it clear that he favors a progressive income tax to help the state provide more support to local schools, and bring down local property taxes.

Not to nitpick or anything, but Kennedy didn’t remove any toilets from his house or the Merchandise Mart to lower his property taxes by making them uninhabitable. Kind of a difference there.

* From Sen. Daniel Biss…

“We have to do right by our children and allow local communities the flexibility to meet the needs of their schools. The best way to do that is to be less reliant on property taxes to meet those needs in the first place. We must instead fix the school funding formula and ensure the state meets its obligations to local communities so they can replace property tax dollars directed at schools with much-needed state resources.

“At the same time, Illinois families need property tax relief. The best way to provide Illinois families with the property tax relief they need is to end the shell game between assessors, property tax lawyers and county boards of review. The self-dealing racket they’ve created enriches their bank accounts and campaign coffers, and the rest of us pay the price. We were reminded of how broken the system is by the news that my two ultra-rich opponents in this primary each got six figure tax breaks by using politically connected law firms. It’s not hard to see who this system benefits.”

* And from Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios’ office…

The Cook County Assessor’s Office assesses property and processes appeals with integrity and fairness, based on analysis of sale prices and real estate market conditions.

It is ludicrous to suggest that the Assessor’s Office led by Joseph Berrios treats properties in lower-market areas differently than those in other areas.

No elected official in Cook County has championed equality for minorities more than Assessor Berrios, who is the first Hispanic-American to serve as Assessor and was the first Hispanic-American to serve in the Illinois General Assembly. This Office assesses property, not people. It does so accurately and equally.

*** UPDATE ***  Mic drop…


  1. - Fax Machine - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:08 pm:

    Kennedy should send you a fruit basket - he’s following your “run as an outsider” column to a T

  2. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:09 pm:

    I don’t think Pritzker wants to talk about someone else’s property tax assessments.

    Has his A-Team not figured out yet that he’s going to have to write some checks to effected taxing districts to have a chance to put this thing behind him?

    The sooner the quicker.

  3. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:12 pm:

    ===he’s following your “run as an outsider” column to a T===

    He’s getting there.

  4. - The Captain - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:18 pm:

    Kennedy: I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

    Assessor’s Office: Your tax appeals money sir. [hands money]

    Kennedy: Ah yes, thank you. This must be stopped.

  5. - Walter Concrete - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:18 pm:

    But did Kennedy disconnect his own plumbing and use the absence of such fixtures to obtain a reduction as Pritzker did?

  6. - City Zen - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:22 pm:

    ==We have to do right by our children…==

    So raising taxes that takes money from their college savings to pay for services rendered before they were born is doing right?

  7. - Anon E. Moose - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:25 pm:

    “This Office assesses property, not people. It does so accurately and equally.”

    Oh is that why appeals are so successful? It is a cottage industry.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:27 pm:

    ===But did Kennedy disconnect his own plumbing and use the absence of such fixtures to obtain a reduction as Pritzker===

    So it’s not the Hypocrisy, it’s the way the Hypocrisy happened?

    Good to know, lol

  9. - amalia - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:28 pm:

    some people stalk a campaign with a chicken or a rat. The Pritzker campaign may be stalked with a toilet.

  10. - Arsenal - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:38 pm:

    Kennedy’s original tweet was six weeks away from retirement when the Biss tweet brutally murdered it. Mercy.

    Such is the peril of trying to move to the “outside” lane- someone’s already there, and they probably won’t go along peaceable-like.

  11. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:39 pm:

    I believe I read on this site that property tax appeals are successful in Cook 60 to 70 per cent of the time. And even though Rich says not to believe everything I read, if appeals are won 60 to 70 per cent of time doesn’t that mean assessments are wrong 60 to 70 per cent of the time? Maybe Berrios should hire relatives that know what they are doing.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:53 pm:

    To Biss taking it to Kennedy…

    The Kennedy Campaign and Crew are a puzzling run and bunch.

    Biss calling Kennedy out… it’s what Rauner wants, Dems taking bites out of each other, highlighting where the weaknesses are… Kennedy… that Crew really needs to understand that while they found a sweet spot, they need to tie up the hypocrisy in the narrative.

  13. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:54 pm:

    I may have to get on this Kennedy bandwagon…..

  14. - Arsenal - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:56 pm:

    ==Biss calling Kennedy out… it’s what Rauner wants==

    And yet, it ends up with the opponent Rauner is most worried about skirting away, even though Kennedy’s property tax move was supposed to rope him in, too.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 6:00 pm:

    ===And yet, it ends up with the opponent Rauner is most worried about skirting away, even though Kennedy’s property tax move was supposed to rope him in, too.===

    Crazy stuff. Biss indirectly aiding Pritzker by blunting the Pritzker attack via hypocrisy, and Pritzker is still the lone, consistent candidate going after Rauner with every answer, policy, thought, issue…

    “Bruce Rauner failed”

    This is one crazy pre-primary, pre-petition window we’re all in.

  16. - W Flag - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 6:05 pm:

    “Berrios, who is the first Hispanic-American to serve as Assessor and was the first Hispanic-American to serve in the Illinois General Assembly.”

    And the last link to Tom Keane’s notorious 31st Ward Democratic Organization…

  17. - Responsa - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 6:18 pm:

    Berrios’ office should prolly stay out of this one as much as is possible.

  18. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 6:31 pm:

    @WFlag, oh snap!

  19. - northsider (the original) - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 6:35 pm:

    Does the name Parky Cullerton ring a Kennedy bell?
    Assessor stories that go way back to the mists of the pre-Camelot era.

  20. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 7:02 pm:

    Did Kennedy get a reduction at the merchandise mart? If so, I would love to see what comps he used for that.

  21. - Stand Tall - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 8:12 pm:

    They are mostly all rich hypocrites that play the same game with the tax man at every level. They do not want to pay one dime more in taxes than what they think they owe so save us the the BS on progressive taxes as even if they get it passed it will be full of all the normal loop holes that protect those with money. Much like all politicians lip service the truth rarely comes out.

  22. - DuPage Bard - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 8:53 pm:

    Biss for the win please…..

  23. - Juvenal - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 11:49 pm:

    Chris Kennedy was never gonna make it as the “outsider,” and Daniel Biss just proved why - and how easily - it is to kick the legs out from underneath him.

    Biss, Pawar and Kennedy all looking for the title “Outsider,” and I think it probably goes to Biss.

    Meanwhile, whether you are Biss, Kennedy, or Pritzker….

    ….if you think you are going to beat Rauner talking about property taxes, the progressive income tax, or tax reform, let me dissuade you.

    Any election where the number one issue is taxes, even the one you think you cannot lose — the Democrat is going to lose that race at least six times out of seven.

    To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose: a time for war, a time for peace; a time for politics, a time for governing. Now is the time for politics if you are a Democratic candidate for governor, and if they allow themselves to get dragged down into legislating for the next 18 months, it will be grueling for them.

  24. - Veil of Ignorance - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 12:00 am:

    If Dems think candidates taking it easy on each other is somehow better for the ultimate nominee, then I suppose sports teams shouldn’t have training camps and scrimmages to figure out who the starters should be. Test the holes and flaws and see who can respond and step up their game. If they can’t handle it now, they definitely won’t when Rauner starts throwing millions behind negative ads against them. And let’s face it, Rauner’s oppo team will find everything that’s there anyways. This is Illinois politics, not tee ball where we don’t keep score.

  25. - Aldyth - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 7:13 am:

    Dear Politician

    Twitter is not your friend.


  26. - Arsenal - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 8:33 am:

    ==This is one crazy pre-primary, pre-petition window we’re all in.==

    I see definite shades of the 2014 Republican primary.

    But honestly, for all the ILDCCA’s hand wringing, this is hardly nasty at all yet. If you wilt in the face of some snappy tweets, you don’t deserve the nomination.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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