* From the Rauner campaign…
JB Pritzker may call for higher taxes in Illinois, but what he pays might not be as big as expected.
Pritzker, whose family has a history of off shore holdings and avoiding taxes, refuses to release even just the names of his trusts.
With JB Pritzker in Springfield, Illinoisans will be paying higher taxes, but don’t expect Pritzker to be paying his fair share.
More from Rich Miller’s column ‘Rich Is As Rich Does’:
…He refused to divulge the tax returns for those trusts (which really would be “complex”) because, his campaign claimed, other members of his extended family also benefit from those trusts. OK, fine. But how about divulging the names of his trusts? Tracking down these trusts is a difficult business because they’re shrouded in such secrecy. Names would help.
When a politician refuses to divulge something, particularly after criticizing others for not doing so, you gotta wonder what that person is hiding.
The Pritzker family all but invented off-shore trusts. “No family in the U.S. can copy the Pritzkers in using offshore entities to gain tax advantages,” claimed Forbes magazine back in 2003.
In an attempt to pry Pritzker’s information loose, I reached out to Chris Kennedy’s gubernatorial campaign and asked if they would release the names of the trust funds Kennedy benefits from. They did.
…JB Pritzker’s sister Penny, who served as President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Commerce, is mentioned in the so-called “Paradise Papers,” a massive ongoing research project into the uber-wealthy and mega-corporations conducted by journalists all over the world. Ms. Pritzker transferred shares from two Bermuda companies to a company owned by trusts that benefit her children after she was confirmed for the Cabinet post. Her family’s myriad offshore trusts were a big issue during her confirmation hearing.
Alas, Kennedy’s decision to reveal his trust funds’ names did not move the Pritzker campaign one iota closer to disclosing the names of Pritzker’s trusts.
This ain’t over.