Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED 1x - Pritzker responds *** Rauner up with “Pritzker Plumbing” billboards
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*** UPDATED 1x - Pritzker responds *** Rauner up with “Pritzker Plumbing” billboards

Thursday, Jun 21, 2018

Posted by Barton Lorimor

* Following a statewide, seven-figure ad buy that hits Pritzker for removing toilets from a property in the Gold Coast to take advantage of a property tax loophole, the Rauner cammpaign has announced it’s placing billboards for a dummy plumbing company bearing the Democratic candidate’s name and likeness…


A phone call placed to the “number” of “Pritzker Plumbing Inc.” answers with a recorded jingle that includes: “Pritzker Plumbing. Disconnect your toilets. Dodge your taxes,” followed by a toilet flush.

A narrator then says, “Thank you for calling Pritzker Plumbing. Our record of success dodging taxes in 2012” and goes on to recount the 2012 property tax break.

“This isn’t the first time that Pritzker has used his corrupt political connections for personal gain. Please leave a message or visit to learn more,” the narrator says.

Pritzker has not directly denied engaging in the practice, and has responded in the past to the issue by bringing up property tax appeals the Governor has filed on his properties.

*** UPDATE 1 ***From Galia Slayen of the Pritzker campaign…

“The Rauner team sticking a poster on a van and calling it campaigning is the equivilant of this governor sticking his name on a budget he had nothing to do with and calling it governing. It’s lazy, desperate, and a last resort play from a failed leader who has nothing better to run on.”

That still does not address the substance of the hit. End of update.

* The mansion that served as the backdrop for Rauner’s ad was also the subject of a “sizable reduction” in its Lake County property tax assessment, per Pearson…

Lake County records show that for the 2017 property tax year, the mansion used in the ad was appraised at more than $1.7 million for property tax purposes. But on appeal, the Lake County Board of Review lowered the assessment by nearly $188,000 to $1.5 million.

Another nearby mansion owned by the Brincats but not featured in the ad also received a lowered assessment on appeal, from $1.27 million to nearly $1.21 million, records showed.

Brincat did not respond to a request for comment at his Waukegan business.

Alex Browning, a spokesman for the Rauner campaign, contended the Brincats’ action was different than Pritzker’s.

“Mr. Brincat’s property tax reassessment is a standard appeal that many homeowners in Illinois file annually. Pritzker altered the structure and function of a home, made the argument that it was ‘uninhabitable,’ and used insider connections with (Cook County Assessor Joe) Berrios’ office to save $230,000 in taxes.”

* Speaking of Cook County property levies…

Average tax bills for single-family homes in the south suburbs were $247.39 higher in 2016 than in 2017 — an increase of about 5 percent — while those in the north suburbs went up around $213, or 3 percent, during that period, according to the Cook County clerk.

Cook County Clerk David Orr said the amount that municipalities asked for in property taxes increased by 16 percent over the last three years, and it’s a “trend that I’m concerned about.”

“If you want to look to the future, this is something we as a society — at the federal, state and county levels — could do something about,” Orr said.

The varying rates may be explained by inequity and “historic racial issues,” Orr said.

The wealthier areas, which have more industry and more commercial properties to levy taxes on, don’t have to ask for more in property taxes. But lower income areas, which may have fewer commercial spaces or other industries, ask for more in property taxes because they still need to govern, Orr said.

That isn’t confined to Cook County, of course. There are TIFs here in Springfield that have more EAV to work with than whole counties in the southernmost part of the state. it boggles my mind how those officials can govern and offer comparable services, like quality education, given those circumstances. Imagine in Cook, the kids in the poorer neighborhoods and subs are relying on those lesser funded systems to prepare them for the same opportunities those from the wealthier areas are also vying.

Money doesn’t guarantee success, but it sure doesn’t hurt your chances.

- Posted by Barton Lorimor        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 11:15 am:

    Rauner won’t give quarter, Rauner won’t give you time to breathe.

    The passive attempts to put pressure on Rauner… what are you guys waiting for?

    The goal should be to keep Rauner on the defensive. Isn’t there enough “baloney” out there on Rauner’s record to keep pressure on the incumbent?

  2. - I Miss Bentohs - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 11:22 am:

    This is direct.
    This is simple.
    This is funny.
    The people that spend no time on politics want to know who they are supposed to not like and who to vote against (the new reality).

    It is still early but JB needs to be messaging better and bitter.

  3. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 11:22 am:

    Easiest, sharpest hit available.
    Really bad Pritzker move all around.
    Expect more toilet jokes.

  4. - don the legend - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    Why are the best propagandists drawn to the worst people. Trump, Rauner and going all the way back to the megalomaniacs of the past?

  5. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 11:38 am:

    How about this tax scam,
    Rauner forgives Rivian from paying
    In taxes
    For 35 employees this year
    Rivian, the car company
    That’s never made a single car
    Now that’s a tax scam

  6. - Jocko - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 11:39 am:

    As word has stated, it’s too late to say you received bad financial advice.

    All JB can do now is pull the “I paid all my legally required taxes…while Bruce got caught using multiple homestead exemptions.” Then up the ante by saying, “Bruce used one of these homes to clout his daughter into Payton Prep.”

  7. - The Most Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 11:50 am:

    Daaaamn. This is funny. Is Pritzker’s multi-million dollar team away at summer camp? Spend that money reminding people how terrible and hateful Bruce Rauner is. Sharpen those messages and be quicker. But, again, their polling probably shows they’re just fine without doing so right now. Their weak initial response to this and other oppo leaves them nice and vulnerable to these hits from Rauner between now and November.

  8. - Rabid - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 11:54 am:

    The only tax cheat is the person who claimed multiple homestead exempts in writing

  9. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 11:59 am:

    Do they rod drains? My bathtub is running a little slow. This will have people talking, at least for a while, and not in a favorable way for JB.

    The Much Bigger question is, why does the Assessor’s office do such a poor job of property assessment, that it supports a whole industry of tax appeal attorneys? And, if they’ve assessed so many properties on the high side such that they can be appealed successfully, how many are assessed on the low side and are paying less than their “fair share”? Makes one wonder how many of the politically connected are in the latter group. It’s not just a question of the state relying excessively on property taxes, it’s the questionable fairness of the system.

  10. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 12:01 pm:

    You do realize that Rivian has to have $50 million in taxable income to benefit from those EDGE grants, right? Pretty hard to do that with “35 employees and no cars.”

  11. - Board Watcher - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 12:03 pm:

    People enjoy humor and it gets their attention. This is both, hence it works. JMO

  12. - FDB - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 12:09 pm:

    It’s going to be a looooooooooooooong haul to November with this type of lowbrow chicanery

  13. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 12:13 pm:

    This very well might work for GovJunk. Americans do have a recent track record of voting against the candidate who does a couple of dumb things, choosing instead to vote for the candidate who has a consistent history of doing dumb things.

  14. - Perrid - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 12:20 pm:

    It’s a good hit, regardless of the fact that it’s completely meaningless. JB had a building he wasn’t going to use as a home, so he made sure it wasn’t taxed like a home. Not cheating in my mind, certainly not cheating by law, but whatever.

  15. - Benfolds5 - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    If you have someone you are a staunch supporter of this ad is meaningless. If you like most, are a moderate and don’t have an opinion yet, this is all day everyday effective. The counter some claim, “homestead” or “payton prep” is valid but not effective. Why? Most people think rich people can dodge takes by nuance. Taking toilets out, that’s a physical act that is simple to understand. It may be early, but, if JB wants to win, I would admit it was a mistake. Or something to take the wind out. Just because Rauner does not have a platform to run on, he is the incumbent. He will win with this issue alone.

  16. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 12:37 pm:

    I’d like to know what kind of dodges Rauner uses to avoid paying his fair share of taxes. Because you know he has people who do exactly the same as JB’s accountants did in this case.

  17. - Duopoly - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 12:43 pm:

    =his fair share of taxes=
    Not sure what this means when elected representatives set tax policy. Any “unfair” tax mechanism can be traced back to unprincipled voters…

  18. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 12:49 pm:

    Arthur Anderson- you do realize that Rivian is making income parking thousands of trade in VWs from the emissions settlement. That’s the only activity at the plant. I’m sure they are making money off that.
    Don’t defend a sweatheart deal
    To a scam company
    That is costing taxpayers
    A lot of money
    For next to no benefit

  19. - Rabid - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 1:00 pm:

    JB didn’t have to lie to lower his taxes, re elect a proven liar

  20. - m - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 1:07 pm:

    =Taking toilets out, that’s a physical act that is simple to understand.=

    Exactly. That’s why this works. Plus toilets, versus something like ripping out electric service boxes, sticks in the head better. That whole deal was ready-made for oppo usage. This is creative, it’s fun, it’s mud-slinging that doesn’t feel as nasty. Does it move the needle? I don’t know. But Rauner’s team is making good hay with what they have.

    =That is costing taxpayers
    A lot of money
    For next to no benefit=

    I’d be curious how much of it, if any, they are actually able to capture. And keep in mind, they wouldn’t be there, doing anything, without the deal. So any of it they get, isn’t really costing tax payers anything, because without the deal, the tax revenue wouldn’t have been there in the first place. It’s a wash at worst. But since they are there, there are some jobs, and economic activity, however inconsequential it may be, so the taxpayers are getting something, vs. the nothing they could have had.

  21. - City Zen - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 1:22 pm:

    Does Pritzker Plumbing pay their apprentices?

  22. - Board Watcher - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 1:23 pm:

    Arthur Anderson- you are spot on. And sometimes you need to realize that some people are so full of hate that they cant see the facts. As Colonel Jessup said ” you cant handle the truth ” and some cant

  23. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 1:27 pm:

    –As Colonel Jessup said ” you cant handle the truth ” and some cant–

    Out of all the famous fictional characters ever, that’s the one you want to quote favorably to make your point?

    In case you didn’t catch it, he wasn’t the good guy in that flick.

  24. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 1:31 pm:

    M- we’ll know how much of that EDGE grant Rivian claimed in July. IDOR runs a report which by statute must be posted on DCEO’s website I believe. Now that I think of it, I don’t know that they are updating that as required. Hmmmm..well I imagine it’s laying on one of the empty desks over there. Whole departments are gone at DCEO. Anyway, that report comes out in July. 35 car parkers don’t create a lot of revenue. Also Bloomington has a loss on that plant as well. No we’re not getting a benefit

  25. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 1:48 pm:


    To qualify, Rivian must have 35 new employees in Normal by December, 465 employees by 2021 and 1,000 new employees by 2024. The automaker also must hit undisclosed capital investment targets, “all of which must be met to gain the annual tax incentive,” Jacquelyn Reineke, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, said Thursday.

    It is most definitely not the same type of tax scam. Priztkers is a scam, Rivian is not.

  26. - Ole General - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 1:56 pm:

    People remember funny. This was funny.

  27. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 2:04 pm:

    ==It is most definitely not the same type of tax scam. Priztkers is a scam, Rivian is not==

    Haha, yea stick with that. Technically true, but do you really want Bruce up on a stage in a debate parsing the particulars of these two accusations? Have you seen how slow he is on his feet when he can’t just fall back on the “because Madigan” stuff? Pritzker doesn’t have to prove it, he just has to say it and watch 1.4% trip over his own feet trying to differentiate the two. Same thing will happen when JB points out that Gov. Goofy magically increased his earnings by 300% since he was elected. Rauner will go deer-in-the-headlights trying to explain that one to voters who already don’t like him.

  28. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 2:16 pm:

    Raccoon- so tell me
    What do you call a car company that’s never made a single car in nine years?
    A scam
    Rauner didn’t even remember that Rivian was there for cripes sake
    It’s a scam
    DCEO has never done an independent audit of EDGE
    Thus we don’t know for any agreement if they’ve kept the deal
    That’s a scam
    Chicago Tribune did an audit in 2015 when Rauner came in
    Two thirds of the companies had not kept their agreements
    No consequences
    That’s a scam
    Hundreds of millions of dollars
    Did not flow into the Willard Ice building
    Because of one scam

    If it makes you feel better I can also go off on Dems and TIFs
    The preferred dem scam

  29. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 2:29 pm:

    Board watcher- yes I am filled with hate and rage at what is being done to
    Every day Illinoisans
    Black folk
    Brown folk
    Moral decency

    Yes overflowing with hate, anger and rage
    I’ve always been passionate
    But now I’m combative
    I’ve had it.

  30. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 2:32 pm:

    ==And sometimes you need to realize that some people are so full of hate that they cant see the facts.==

    People can’t have a discussion over economic issues without being accused of hate?

    Rivian’s target date for electric cars is 2020. Is it a good deal or not? It’s too soon to say. But they did in fact get taxpayer money upfront in the form of a million dollar grant. They get tax abatements now and can get further Illinois grants if they invest 40.5 million.
    It would be interesting to break down the cost to Illinois taxpayers per job.

  31. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 2:51 pm:

    oops, Honeybear, I stand corrected.

  32. - Ole General - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 2:59 pm:


    I have a surprise for you tomorrow.
    I want you to tell your new law friends that winter is coming.
    That the North remembers.
    The tide has shifted & winds blow upon your hearth.
    Tomorrow will be a reckoning.
    Wait for it.
    Ole General

  33. - Annonin' - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 3:05 pm:

    It was interestin’ the Tribbie Brincat story failed to note the home owner runs the racin’ board for GovJunk and was a top exec for a sleazy loan outfit called Mercury Finance that was headed by his pappy, who went to the slammer for decade. At the time the judge called the crime that led to the sentence and the end of Mercury was the biggest accounting scheme in the history of the Horthern District of IL.

  34. - m - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 3:09 pm:

    =No we’re not getting a benefit=

    So the city and state would be better off if the plant sat empty? No economic activity from it? No 35 people with jobs?

    Because Bloomington would still have their loss. And no one would get anything out of it.

  35. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 3:19 pm:

    Sorry Ole General
    That didn’t do anything for me
    I think that was something from
    Game of Thrones right?
    I’ve never seen the show.
    I’ve got cable but it was only to get free data on our phones.
    We don’t watch TV.
    Are you referring to maybe Janus coming out?
    Oh and I do have attorney friends
    But you have to remember I’m just studying for the LSAT

    Big Bad Wolf - what are you standing corrected for?

  36. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 3:31 pm:

    M- yes it’s worse having the Rivian 35 because Bloomington or the state can’t put a real company in there. Because we basically “gave” the plant to them we can’t put a real tenant in there or even get the chance to do it. Look if 2/3rds of these agreements have shorted the state, Rivian doesn’t have good odds. Let alone a company that has not produced a single product. So yes it would be a lot better if Bloomington was getting the parking money for the VWs.

  37. - btowntruthfromforgottonia - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 3:52 pm:

    Rivian is a scam.Straight up.
    Check their history.

    Honeybear is right.

  38. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 4:17 pm:

    Ole General, After winter comes spring. We’ve had winters before.

  39. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 4:19 pm:

    ==I have a surprise for you tomorrow.
    I want you to tell your new law friends that winter is coming.
    That the North remembers.
    The tide has shifted & winds blow upon your hearth.
    Tomorrow will be a reckoning.
    Wait for it.
    Ole General==

    What is this? Why are you always such a weirdo? Stay off the drugs, man

  40. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 4:23 pm:

    ===I have a surprise for you tomorrow.
    I want you to tell your new law friends that winter is coming.
    That the North remembers.===

    That is a lil creepy…

  41. - Rabid - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 5:30 pm:

    Lower your taxes make your home inhabitable, foreward thinking

  42. - walker - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 6:13 pm:

    Folks will laugh about it over lunch and in bars. B+

  43. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 8:03 pm:

    The EDGE grant was awarded for manufacturing, not parking. Those jobs don’t, and never will, qualify.

  44. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Jun 21, 18 @ 8:17 pm:

    And, don’t get me wrong. As I’ve said here before, I’m highly skeptical of Rivian. But let’s not throw the program overboard because of a crappy company-if they don’t perform, they don’t get the dough.

  45. - Rabid - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 4:34 am:

    Play along, use a prop a plunger to remove Rauner with. Rauners plumbing problems are fatal

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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