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Yes, Jeanne, they do that in South Dakota, too

Thursday, Oct 4, 2018

* Hold everything?

Hold everything. Jeanne Ives just weighed in on the governor’s race and boy is she mad. The state rep who lost to Gov. Bruce Rauner in a bitter GOP primary wants the Illinois Department of Revenue to investigate how Democrat J.B. Pritzker got a tax break by pulling toilets out of his second home, thus lowering the property value.

Is this a gift to Rauner? Nope. Ives hasn’t even talked to the governor. “This is my hot-button issue,” Ives told POLITICO.

“It sticks in my craw big-time. Who does that? M.K. grew up in South Dakota, the same state I did,” Ives said, referring to Pritzker’s wife. “No one does this. I don’t know where she learned these kinds of shenanigans. But normal people don’t do it. I’m angry. You don’t cheat this way. If the damned Democrats don’t prosecute this, then why would anyone stay in this state just to be treated unfairly by the political ruling class.” Hiding property wealth, says Ives, just shortchanges schools and leaves taxpayers holding the bag.

No one hides wealth in South Dakota? You mean the notorious tax haven for the rich South Dakota?

Forget Switzerland; South Dakota is actually one of the best places in the world for the wealthy to stash their cash in secret.

Yeah, no tax shenanigans in pristine South Dakota

The state’s role as a prairie tax haven has gained unwanted attention since the release of the Panama Papers, an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. […]

Great Plains worked with SDTC to learn the ropes, but last year leased a windowless office in a brick and glass building for its two employees. Down the hall is Maroon Trust, which manages the money of Chicago’s Pritzker family.

Bingo. The Pritzker family knows all about South Dakota

In 2010, the Pritzker family, whose members include Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, revealed in a securities filing that one branch had moved $360 million of Hyatt Hotels stock to trusts overseen by a native South Dakotan named Thomas Muenster. Muenster, whose sister married [JB] Pritzker, maintains an office in the Kresge building.

Thomas Muenster. Hmm. Where have we heard that name before?

* From the Pritzker toilet story back in June

Pritzker’s name isn’t mentioned in the documents the assessor’s office released for the mansions. Both are owned by a limited liability company managed by Thomas Muenster, whose sister is Pritzker’s wife. But the Pritzker campaign acknowledges that the LLC is owned by a trust for Pritzker. Muenster and the law firm Schmidt Salzman & Moran filed the appeals with Berrios.

Muenster signed the property tax appeals document, not JB or MK. And he inserted a very lawyerly claim about how the vacant house “has” no functioning bathrooms. He never actually claimed that this had been the case for years, as the IG report stated. A contractor claims MK said she wanted to put one of the toilets back in after the reassessment, but that didn’t happen. I’m guessing her legal counsel told her it was a big no-no.

Distasteful? Yes. Illegal? I just don’t see it yet. But if it is, you can bet your own house (uninhabitable or not) that the South Dakota brother-in-law is going straight under the bus.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

46 Comments
  1. - PublicServant - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:31 am:

    That really clears it up Rich. Guys like Rauner and Pritzker hire people to save them money. This was always much adieu about nothing. Pritzker paid back the money, case against JB closed. Got a problem with that boys? Take it up with Tommy Muenster from South Dakota.


  2. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:32 am:

    Disasteful? Certainly

    The much bigger issue is sanctimonious hypocrisy about how people like Governor Rauner and him need a graduated income tax to “pay their fair share”.

    Cleary JB has gone to extraordinary measures to avoid doing just that.


  3. - A Jack - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:36 am:

    Yes, it will all come down to whether Tom intentionally mislead anyone or the IG misconstrued the statement. Berrios has already said the toilet issue in itself would not have caused the rehab exemption. The house had other problems that may have made it unlivable.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:36 am:

    This was my very first thought.

    “When do they put this all on the brother-in-law?”

    The assistant, blaming the assistant is too cliche

    The brother-in-law is the logical person to drive the bus under.

    When this campaign is all over, the gross fundamental errors of Pritzker and the continued “own oppo” errors will be a stain on what has been a really solid campaign effort.

    Fundamental errors, cardinal sins, they are so glaring.


  5. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:36 am:

    I don’t even find it distasteful. It’s not as if JB thought this up for himself, nor did he physically rip the toilets out of the house. The people who take care of the money thought this up and hired someone to do it.

    I’m glad they’ve decided to pay up though. We’ll need every penny we can get to pay for the wrongful death suits Rauner is causing.


  6. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:39 am:

    Jeanne Ives is mad about something? What a scoop.

    Politico Exclusive: Sources say sun to come up in east tomorrow.


  7. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:40 am:

    Now commenters will say that they’re moving to South Dakota.


  8. - Texas Red - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:41 am:

    JB just doing what powerful Rich guys do. Trusts and tax dodges looks great to you golfing buddies, not so much your political opponents.


  9. - Arsenal - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:43 am:

    ==The much bigger issue is sanctimonious hypocrisy==

    If that’s your bigger issue you’re in a fix. Hypocrisy is background radiation in politics.

    And frankly, this whole situation just demonstrates the need for a progressive income tax.


  10. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:45 am:

    –The much bigger issue is sanctimonious hypocrisy…–

    That’s a big issue in RaunerBot land, is it? Is it as big as “Pritzker trying to buy the office?”

    I thought you couldn’t top your “lack of self-awareness” comment yesterday for belly laughs, but you proved me wrong.


  11. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:46 am:

    Ives is speaking culturally.
    SD is a tax haven filled with folks who still consider indoor plumbing a modern day wonder.


  12. - Nagidam - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:46 am:

    Rich you should go ask any County Assessor not named Berrios and see if this would have flown in their county. My bet is no. Real property is assessed based on what is physically there on the assessment date of the given year. That date is January 1st. So if the entire house was build but the toilets were missing, a vast majority of the home should have been assessed. Smells a little of favoritism to a wealthy powerful dude. Criminal? Only if they put back the toilets and continued to get the preferential treatment.


  13. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:48 am:

    JB is the messenger for the rich finally paying their fair share

    Run that up the flagpole and see how it flies


  14. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:49 am:

    Rich, I think you are right.

    Perhaps there was indeed a “scheme to defraud,” and perhaps there would have been a case of fraud if Muenster had filed acfalse statement or if they had put the toilet right back in after filing the affidavit, as the assistant said.

    But neither of those things happened.

    To me, “But his toilets!” sounds an awful lot like “But her emails!”, and the Rauner Crew reminds me of the Trump rallies chanting “Lock her up! Lock her up!”


  15. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:50 am:

    ===Run that up the flagpole and see how it flies ===

    https://capitolfax.com/2018/10/02/simon-poll-pritzker-leads-by-22-points-raoul-up-by-10-dems-more-enthusiastic/


  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:51 am:

    ===Run that up the flagpole and see how it flies===

    “How can Rauner be trailing by 22 points?”

    You ask all the wrong questions, lol


  17. - Arsenal - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:52 am:

    ==JB is the messenger for the rich finally paying their fair share==

    Class traitors- well, in the one direction- are potent electoral weapons. FDR. The Kennedys. Trump ran a lot on “I know how the game is rigged and I’m gonna rig it for you now.”


  18. - Arsenal - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:55 am:

    ==Class traitors- well, in the one direction- are potent electoral weapons. FDR. The Kennedys. Hell, Trump ran a lot on “I know how the game is rigged and I’m gonna rig it for you now.”==

    I understand why you, LP, don’t believe that JB will actually pursue a progressive income tax- though given that Rauner outright rejects the idea, you have to concede that he’s more likely to do it than Rauner- but you should consider taking a step back and trying to figure out how voters who have not committed to a side are seeing the issue.


  19. - Joe M - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:55 am:

    In another life I was a township assessor for 4 townships in a multi-township district. I would encounter various ploys to elude being assessed. And bathrooms were often at the heart of such ploys.

    The vast majority of the houses in the areas I assessed were modest homes. However, increasingly, wealthier folks started building homes here and there. The owner of one such home refused to make an appt with me to assess his new home - which sat back in the woods down a long lane.

    I finally had to tell him that I had to turn in an assessment - and that it is hard to assess a house from a mile way. Doing that I would have to assume then that he had all marble floors, an indoor swimming pool, a five car garage, five bathrooms etc. And he could take up any errors I made, with an appeal to the county’s property tax assessment board. He then invited me to come see his new house.

    As I was wrapping up my measurements and notes, he told me that the house could not be assessed yet this year, because it wasn’t finished yet. I asked him what wasn’t finished yet.

    He said the 5th bathroom wasn’t finished yet, so there for there couldn’t be an assessment yet. From talking with him, I had learned that there were three people in his family, he, his wife and a child.

    I told him that he wasn’t getting any sympathy from me, as I had five children - and the 7 of us lived in a house with ONE bathroom. I told him I would take off the value of one bathroom with three fixtures (back then about a %4800 full value - $1600 assessed value) for one year, but would add that on the following year. And I told him I hoped the three of them could make due with the four finished bathrooms during that time.


  20. - Arsenal - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 11:55 am:

    ==To me, “But his toilets!” sounds an awful lot like “But her emails!”, and the Rauner Crew reminds me of the Trump rallies chanting “Lock her up! Lock her up!”==

    Which, to be fair, worked.


  21. - Perrid - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 12:00 pm:

    Lol, mic drop from Rich. Yeah, whether JB means it or not, whether or not he’s a hypocrite, people seem to be buying it so far.


  22. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 12:13 pm:

    With more than a dozen dead at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy, L’affaire du Toilette is the Illinois scandal that “sticks in her craw big-time”?

    – MrJM


  23. - City Guy - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 12:14 pm:

    My impression is there are a lot of people who use a lower agricultural assessment for land that is actually an investment or part of their estate. If taxed as residential or commercial, it would be a lot higher taxes. I don’t think Pritzker should have avoided the taxes but I don’t think it is uncommon or a horrible deed.


  24. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 12:16 pm:

    George Carlin was right in The American Dream.


  25. - JS Mill - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 12:26 pm:

    =My bet is no. Real property is assessed based on what is physically there on the assessment date of the given year. =

    The numbers are bigger in Cook County sometimes but they all do this stuff. Ford county assessor called and Ameren $400 million “peaker” plant personal property and cheated the local taxing bodies out of millions of dollars in taxes.

    None of it is ok, but it happens everywhere.

    Funny how Ives, the ultra jingoist patriot, sees the toilettes as a bigger issue than mistreatment and wrongful deaths of veterans.

    I would not want to be in a foxhole with the warrior Ives.


  26. - SSL - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 12:27 pm:

    If the JB tax dodging scams don’t bother you that’s fine. JB repeatedly saying the wealthy need to pay their fair share is gross hypocrisy at its finest. I just don’t like guys who lie for personal gain.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for his progressive tax.


  27. - Nagidam - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 12:27 pm:

    @City Guy

    This isn’t like he avoided paying income taxes so the government didn’t get their money. By avoiding property taxes like this he passes what he owed on to everyone else. The taxes in the poorer communities went up because of his tax avoidance. The local government gets their money one way or another. And yes one of the biggest property tax shifts in the Illinois property tax code is agricultural assessments. But there is a reason for preferential assessments for ag land.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 12:29 pm:

    ===Don’t hold your breath waiting for his progressive tax.===

    (Sigh)

    No one should hold their breath, the earliest a progressive income tax can even be voted on is 2020.

    Good try.


  29. - Arsenal - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 12:40 pm:

    ==Don’t hold your breath waiting for his progressive tax.==

    I’ll take my chances over the guy who flat out rejects it, thanks.


  30. - Nagidam - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 12:42 pm:

    ===Don’t hold your breath waiting for his progressive tax.===

    I thought I read that JB wanted to pass new income tax rates with exemptions for the middle class to mirror a progressive tax until a constitutional amendment could be passed. So the question I guess becomes will he ask for this to happen in the next GA? That’s the question people should be asking.


  31. - Arsenal - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 12:51 pm:

    ==Don’t hold your breath waiting for his progressive tax.==

    The funniest part of this is that Rauner’s been running ads for months now calling JB a tax hiker. Now he’s not? OK.


  32. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 12:53 pm:

    I recall a lot of overconfidence just 4 years ago

    “In the Illinois governors’ race, it seems voters would rather go with the one they know over the one untested.

    Gov. Pat Quinn takes the lead in a revealing new survey from the Chicago Tribune that shows the embattled Democrat out-polling Republican challenger Bruce Rauner despite voter dissatisfaction with his performance.

    The conservative-leaning paper, which hosted a no-holds-barred non-debate debate between Quinn and Rauner last week, reports the incumbent with 48 percent of the vote and Rauner with 37 percent. Eight percent of survey-takers said they were undecided. Five percent backed Libertarian contender Chad Grimm, who may have stolen away some Rauner votes.

    https://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Despite-dismal-approval-ratings-Quinn-surges-past-untested-rauner-poll-275134991.html


  33. - Turner - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 12:56 pm:

    Seems like Jeanne is in need of a little attention. God help us if Roskam loses, because Jeanne will be out there “leading the charge” to take back the 6th congressional district. This nightmare will never go away.


  34. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 1:00 pm:

    ===I recall a lot of overconfidence just 4 years ago===

    Oh, please. That Tribune poll was from early September and it was the last to show Quinn with a large lead. The second Tribune poll showed Rauner up by 2.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 1:04 pm:

    “Lucky Pierre”

    Do you think Rauner is trailing Pritzker?

    I’m just curious, in your mind, where this race is.

    If you have polling in this specific race to substantiate your thought, even better.

    Its curious your obsession on 4 years ago, as Quinn was a failed incumbent… that eventually lost.


  36. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 1:07 pm:

    ==. Smells a little of favoritism to a wealthy powerful dude.==
    Berros said he didn’t know the property belonged to Pritzker and he gives a discount to everyone who is rehabbing a vacant home.


  37. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 1:23 pm:

    Only 3 polls for the race for Illinois Governor since June

    JB at

    49% Simon- September 24th-29th
    46% NBC- 8/12-8/16
    36% We ask America- 6/9-6/11

    I don’t get the JB winning is a foregone conclusion.

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2018/governor/il/illinois_governor_rauner_vs_pritzker-6439.html


  38. - Pundent - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 1:25 pm:

    Yes. Early polling did favor Quinn in what has always been a blue state. But then his opponent began to hammer him non-stop on his “failures”. His numbers continued to slide and never recovered. When it was all said and done it showed us how effective labeling a sitting governor as a failure could be.


  39. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 1:37 pm:

    ===Only 3 polls for the race for Illinois Governor since June===

    Four. https://abc7chicago.com/politics/jb-pritzker-kwame-raoul-lead-in-new-state-wide-poll-/4236278/


  40. - Annoyance - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 1:38 pm:

    Quinn didn’t have the state of Illinois employee vote. Rauner has less of their votes seems everyone counting the days till Nov 6.


  41. - Arsenal - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 1:50 pm:

    Clearly, what really bothers me the most is amateur-ish pro-Rauner spin.


  42. - btowntruthfromforgottonia - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 1:51 pm:

    Lucky:
    The polls you cited show Pritzker widening his lead over Rauner as the election gets closer.
    In 2014 polls Quinn lost his lead as the elections drew near.


  43. - foster brooks - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 2:06 pm:

    fortune 500 companies with a one room storefront in souix falls south dakota


  44. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 2:32 pm:

    ===I don’t get the JB winning is a foregone conclusion.===

    Yeah, that’s not what I asked.

    I asked;

    ===Do you think Rauner is trailing Pritzker?===

    What word, or words, are too difficult for you? “Trailing”?


  45. - Nagidam - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 5:26 pm:

    @Da Big Bad Wolf,
    ===Berrios said he didn’t know the property belonged to Pritzker and he gives a discount to everyone who is rehabbing a vacant home.===

    Berrios gave JB something like an 82.5% assessment break because of missing toilets for 6 years. I seriously doubt he does this for everyone.


  46. - Nagidam - Thursday, Oct 4, 18 @ 5:36 pm:

    Here is what looks like the state statute that covers this saga:

    (35 ILCS 200/9-180)
    Sec. 9-180 Pro-Rata Valuations;
    …When, during the previous calendar year, any buildings, structures or other improvements on the property were destroyed and rendered uninhabitable or otherwise unfit for occupancy or for customary use by accidental means (excluding destruction resulting from the willful misconduct of the owner of such property), the owner of the property on January 1 shall be entitled, on a proportionate basis, to a diminution of assessed valuation for such period during which the improvements were uninhabitable or unfit for occupancy or for customary use. The owner of property entitled to a diminution of assessed valuation shall, on a form prescribed by the assessor, within 90 days after the destruction of any improvements or, in counties with less than 3,000,000 inhabitants within 90 days after the township or multi-township assessor has mailed the application form as required by Section 9-190, file with the assessor for the decrease of assessed valuation. Upon failure so to do within the 90 day period, no diminution of assessed valuation shall be attributable to the property.

    Please look at the part that discusses ‘willful misconduct’ and make your own conclusion as to whether a law was broken.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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