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More Pritzker graduated tax react

Tuesday, Mar 12, 2019


“It’s time to end Governor Pritzker’s tax hypocrisy. Pritzker says he ‘chooses fairness’ when it comes to raising taxes, yet Pritzker is the beneficiary of many overseas holdings that allow him to dodge untold millions in state and federal taxes. If Pritzker truly believes that rich people such as himself have an obligation to pay more in taxes to the State of Illinois, Pritzker should take the first step and domesticate his overseas holdings in Illinois so they would be subject to the higher tax rates he has proposed for the people of Illinois.

“As one of Illinois’ richest residents and leading tax hike proponents, it’s time for Governor Pritzker to pay his fair share, before expecting Illinois taxpayers to pay more. Tax fairness should start with our governor.” - Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider

Last week, Governor J.B. Pritzker finally released the specific tax rates of his plan to raise taxes on Illinois families and businesses. When you factor in the Personal Property Replacement Tax, Pritzker’s tax hike plan will hit corporations and trusts domiciled in the state of Illinois with a 10.45% and 9.45% tax rate, respectively, making it “one of the highest in the nation.”

During the course of last year’s gubernatorial campaign, Illinois voters learned that Pritzker is the beneficiary of many overseas trusts based in the Bahamas and Cayman Islands. Those trusts are not subject to taxes. Pritzker attempted to skirt the topic by saying there was nothing he could do about the trusts set up by his grandfather in the 1960s, and that all of his money from those trusts go to his charitable foundation.

But a Chicago Tribune investigated found that Pritzker himself utilizes overseas tax havens for his personal business ventures. Several overseas shell corporations were set up by Pritzker and his associates between 2008 and 2011. According to the Tribune, those corporations “are either wholly owned by J.B. Pritzker, his brother and business partner Anthony Pritzker, or list other close associates as controlling executives.”

All told, the Tribune found “35 offshore and domestic trusts and shell companies tied to Pritzker on top of the dozen offshore investment funds.”

Financial experts told the Tribune that the investment tactics used by Pritzker helped him maintain the secrecy of his overseas holdings while minimizing the tax liability.

When the investigation broke, Pritzker tax hike supporter Dan Biss said “J.B. Pritzker set up companies offshore, probably to avoid taxes and spent the entire past year lying about it.”

In 2008, The New York Times said the Pritzker family were “pioneers in using tax loopholes to shelter their holdings from the internal revenue service.” And J.B. Pritzker’s sister, Penny Pritzker, became the subject of media scrutiny after some of her overseas holdings were revealed in the Paradise Papers.

If Pritzker truly believes that rich people such as himself have an obligation to pay more in taxes to the State of Illinois, Pritzker should take the first step and domesticate his overseas holdings in Illinois so they would be subject to the higher tax rates he has proposed for the people of Illinois.

* Think Big Illinois…

After Governor Pritzker’s proposed fair tax rates showed that 97% of Illinoisans would not see a state income tax increase under a fair tax system, opponents have grown increasingly desperate in their false attacks. While these opponents will do or say anything to avoid forcing the wealthy to finally pay their fair share, it’s important to note the truth is not on their side.

A favorite talking point of these opponents is that the wealthiest Illinoisans will leave the state if they’re forced to pay their share, but the facts tell a different story. Research shows that there is no correlation between a state’s tax rates and the likelihood a high-income family leaves the state. Look no further than California, which increased its top marginal income tax rate to 13.3% in 2012, but continues to have a net migration in of millionaires each year.

Additionally, Illinoisans have fled the state for years as the Rauner administration played politics with the budget, leaving our education system decimated and critical services severely underfunded. A Fair Tax will bring in much-needed revenue to help address these issues, yet it’s Rauner’s brand of mismanagement and irresponsible governance that opponents are eager to return to.

“The legislature will have the same power if the Fair Tax is passed as they do now, and wealthy families will not leave the state at increased rates. These are just desperate false claims from Governor Rauner’s former allies who will do or say anything to keep a system in place that works for the wealthy while hurting working families,” said Quentin Fulks, Executive Director of Think Big Illinois. “The only difference is Illinois would finally have a tax structure where the burden is lifted off the middle class and the wealthiest pay their fair share. That’s why Think Big Illinois is committed to continue fighting for a Fair Tax in our state.”


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:22 am:

    Dear Raunerites–you had your turn. Let’s try something else.

  2. - BenFolds5 - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    Republicans… Run the commercials 10 times a day. 20 on Sunday. “domesticate his overseas holdings in Illinois so they would be subject to the higher tax rates he has proposed for the people of Illinois.”

  3. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:26 am:

    ===Run the commercials===

    With what $$$?

  4. - BenFolds5 - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:29 am:

    The Republicans have enough money to be strategic and finally try and win a messaging war, especially one this easy. I hope.

  5. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:31 am:

    Yes brought out during the campaign.
    And yet he still won.
    Hmmm. I guess no one thought that was a big deal

  6. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:32 am:

    FUD, and Attack the opponent. Got any new cards boys? What’s your idea, Tim?

  7. - Norseman - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:33 am:

    Nobody should be surprised that the GOP is moving from discussing the policy to personal attacks. Always an indication that they’re losing on the merits.

  8. - Fixer - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:33 am:

    More wailing and gnashing of teeth from Raunerites. ILGOP, you guys planning on taking back your party or just continuing to be the party of no with zero solutions?

  9. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:34 am:

    The Pritzker tax attacks failed miserably. What is the definition of insanity?

    But go on, GOP, keep showing you’ll keep everyone else’s taxes higher to protect the richest.

  10. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:35 am:

    Riiiiiight. JB is the only rich dude that has a lot of dough out of the country. Does the ILGOP want a bright light shined on this subject?

    Is the toilet going to go back on tour?

  11. - DuPage Moderate - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:35 am:

    “Fair Tax”, whatever. It would be palatable if it were coupled with “Fair Pensions” but given Pritzker’s choice of company at the podium today, that’s never going to happen.

    The continued soaking of Illinois citizens will have a significant and hugely detrimental impact on Illinois. A sad moment for Illinois.

  12. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:37 am:

    More from the spaghetti bowl. Anything sticking?

    So far we have:

    – Offshore tax havens

    – Revenues raised are too much

    – Revenues raised are not enough (good one, IPI)

    – Unfair to millionaires (hang in there, Todd)

    – Unfair to the masses because it will increase income inequality (another one from left field by IPI)

    – Cut for the 97% is unfair

    – Cut for the 97% isn’t big enough

    – Doesn’t cut property taxes or sales taxes (which would require much higher rates)

    – Will drive out the rich (Katrina, despite all evidence to the contrary)

    Did I miss anything?

    Upon further review, maybe spaghetti bowl against the wall isn’t the right metaphor. More like a dog’s breakfast of incoherence and contradiction.

  13. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:37 am:

    I would venture to say that nearly every single family in the targeted 3% go to every imaginable means to avoid paying taxes. JB,Rauner,Edgar you name it. I bet even MJM hires someone to help him ease the burden.

  14. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:38 am:

    Fair enough. When has Schneider advocated for closing the offshore tax loopholes?

  15. - 19th ward guy - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:39 am:

    Score by Ill GOP. Whatever the merits nobody likes two sets of rules-one for rich guys and another for everybody else. It’s not a personal attack either. It’s legitmately what rich guys do and our Guv is a rich guy. Good for him.

  16. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:41 am:

    Structuring your income and assets to legally reduce taxes is allowed. Most of us have done some form of this. I know I have.

    This is a non-issue to me.

  17. - Fixer - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:44 am:

    DuPage “Moderate”, should we disclose net worth as well? How about marital status and number of dependents? Because those are probably more relevant to the topic at hand than your suggestion.

  18. - train111 - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:46 am:

    Il GOP will be more believable when they hold the President to the same standards.

  19. - Back to the Future - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:49 am:

    Agree with 19th Ward on all points.

  20. - City Zen - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:49 am:

    ==Look no further than California==

    You lost me there.

  21. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    Taxes for the, but not for me.

    This “didn’t work last fall” because the alternative was 4 more years of Bruce Rauner. Strictly talking about the tax policy, the attack may have legs.

  22. - RNUG - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:53 am:

    Simple solution. Change the Federal tax laws to include all offshore income. Then it will end up as part of the taxable state pension income.

    I’m sure the 1.4% will be happy to support that. /s

  23. - Generic Drone - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:55 am:

    Personally, I would like to see all off shore tax haven accounts, taxed. So I can’t believe it, but I agree with them this time.

  24. - RNUG - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:55 am:

    I don’t know where the word pension came from in my post at 11:53am. Just ignore it.

  25. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:57 am:

    ” with a 10.45% and 9.45% tax rate”
    of which they actually pay
    almost nothing.

    Every day we see new articles
    about a large company paying nothing
    and even getting a refund.

    What else ya got?

  26. - Flapdoodle - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:57 am:

    Word: “More like a dog’s breakfast of incoherence and contradiction.” Not sure the metaphor works. A dog’s breakfast is likely considerably more balanced than than the bleating we’re hearing from the right.

    DuPage Moderate: Yeah, I get a pension. Worked 50 years to get it, contributed to it monthly, managed it okay enough. What’s your point, or are you just bitter about your own choices?

  27. - Montrose - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 11:58 am:

    “And I think the comments on this topic would have a lot more value if one were required to disclose whether one maintained a pension or not.”

    So, your assumption is that the vast majority of people that support a fair tax have a public pension. Because why would someone support a tax increase if they did have a direct, personal benefit from it? I’m glad I’m not as cynical as you. #NoPension #MyTaxesWillGoUp #FairTaxNow

  28. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 12:00 pm:

    This is a fair attack, but it isn’t an argument against a progressive income tax.

    They are grasping at every straw out there but they are going to have a hard time countering the fair tax narrative. The Governor is doing an excellent job driving the narrative.

  29. - Jocko - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 12:02 pm:

    ==The continued soaking of Illinois citizens==

    As one of the 3% JB plans on “soaking”, my heart goes out to you. /s.

  30. - ike - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 12:03 pm:

    Trump bragged about not paying taxes, but you don’t hear the ILGOP ,and republicans in general, complaining about it.

  31. - Enviro - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 12:04 pm:

    The 1% does not believe in pensions, except for their own pensions of course.
    Next they will go after Social Security.
    They already want to reduce Social Security and Medicare benefits.

  32. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 12:04 pm:

    ==if it were coupled with “Fair Pensions”==

    It can be argued Tier II fixed it to make it an unfair pension. What other changes would you like to see?

  33. - BenFolds5 - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 12:07 pm:

    Personally, I agree with 19th ward. If i could save on taxes, i would too. There is enough people on here to “pay my share”… The middle class will bear the brunt no matter what, they always do.

  34. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 12:15 pm:

    We have a clear backdrop for this. The last governor made hundreds of millions of dollars literally while trying to slash trade/state workers and strip their rights. Who cried for those workers, who’s now crying because the wealthiest may have to pay modestly more?

  35. - DuPage Moderate - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 12:17 pm:

    The pension system is still wildly outbalanced. Plus, the City of Chicago, County of Cook, school districts are all going to come looking for theirs too.

    People are leaving - and more will continue to go.

    Most people would be fine paying more, if it were coupled with some meaningful fixes. Fat chance Pritzker’s union friends will let those happen.

    Can’t wait for the gas tax, the marijuana tax, the liquor tax, the increase in tolls. Yep, that’s a soaking.

  36. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 12:18 pm:

    Enviro. I am not in the 1%. I recieve a modest USSW pension. I believe fixed pensions need to be phased out of existence.

  37. - JB13 - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    This is a perfectly fair attack from the GOP.

    Yes, there are many other super rich people in Illinois avoiding taxes. But there’s only one super rich person in Illinois with the power to make everybody else pay more. If he wants to do that, he should voluntarily pay more. Lead by example.

    You really think no one will notice, just because other rich people do the same thing?

  38. - Perrid - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 12:24 pm:

    Personal attacks against JB are relevant in elections, not policy making. Complete red herring.

  39. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 12:32 pm:

    “Most people would be fine paying more”

    Most people will be paying less under Pritzker’s plan. Opponents are literally standing in the way of historic and sweeping tax cuts.

  40. - pc - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 12:32 pm:

    Can we stop falling for bad faith stuff like this? No one here can really believe the IL GOP would support changing the tax laws to stop rich people from moving money overseas to avoid taxes

  41. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 12:43 pm:

    === I believe fixed pensions need to be phased out of existence. ===

    Yeah, as soon as you are no longer collecting yours. lol

  42. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 12:50 pm:

    ILGOP needs to load up on more nerf balls. For heavens sake, concentrate on some things that matter to people in their lives. Opioid crisis. Prescription drug prices. Higher ed drain to other states. Infrastructure.

    Increase taxes, large and small, as needed now. Then get the revenue flowing, and start providing the benefits. Do them all at once, so is it it is perceived as more of a one time hit.

    FYI, I (NUG) live on a state pension and SS. I am fine w fair tax, gas tax tax retirement income, just do it. GOP, needs to get in the game. Shift focus to other issues

  43. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 12:53 pm:

    Rich, i agree with the ILSC in that earned bennies are off limits.

  44. - Platon - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 3:15 pm:

    Just a few years ago our income tax rate was 3%. No historic or sweeping tax cut is happening.

  45. - Platon - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 3:16 pm:

    Of course defined benefit pensions need to be eliminated. They are gone from the private sector because they don’t work.

  46. - Harvest76 - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 3:41 pm:

    I couldn’t help but notice that Schneider’s statement didnt refute that the vast majority of citizens will pay less tax. So, what exactly are they opposing again? Pritzker’s use of existing federal tax law to lower his tax liability? Weird approach to a strictly Illinois-centric policy proposal.

  47. - RNUG - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 5:01 pm:

    == They are gone from the private sector because they don’t work. ==

    They are mostly gone from the private sector not because they didn’t work but because the 1.4% used bankruptcy for profit to bust the pensions and because they could dump the obligations on the PBGC.

  48. - SSL - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 5:43 pm:

    Naw, they didn’t work. Private world deals in reality, public in denial. They’re going, going, gone. In both private and public. As it should be.

  49. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 6:00 pm:

    Forgotten in all this fair tax stuff is the recently passed min wage increase. By my call, this, and the economic stimulus generated by it, should generate $2 to $3 billion in additional taxes each year.

  50. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 6:14 pm:

    RNUG. You are not entirely wrong. But just for example, the old widget factory was cost pressured so much by cheap international labor, we negotiated with the Ussw to eliminate and go to a 401k. Not a controllable situation. Life expectancies, wrong actuarial predictions, bad investment decisions,horrible fixed income environment,product extinction all can lead to the death of a fixed pension……ifthegovt would have insisted that funding levels stayed at 110% for private pensions…..then maybe….

  51. - 5-ohhhhh (ret) - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 7:03 pm:

    If people making over $1,000,000 were going to leave, they would have been gone to Texas or any other state with no state income tax way before this proposed tax increase.

  52. - Platon - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 7:25 pm:

    That is incorrect RNUG, defined benefit systems are very costly and unpredictable. That’s why defined contribution has taken over. People are better off with too, which is a huge bonus.

  53. - DuPage Moderate - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 7:56 pm:

    5-ohhhhhhh: more and more of them are leaving each year. And per the Tribune today, their kids are leaving too.

    I didn’t think these facts were up for debate. Why are they leaving?

  54. - markg8 - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 8:00 pm:

    How much did that condo cost Ken Griffin in NYC again? $12 million? High taxes on rich ppl doesn’t seem to scare him away from New York.

  55. - Rabid - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 8:02 pm:

    Didn’t someone tell Tim he’s co-chairman. Don’t tell him about the caymans

  56. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 12, 19 @ 8:35 pm:

    –I didn’t think these facts were up for debate.–

    I’m sure that’s the way you’d like it. But many here have provided many links for a long time to facts that millionaires don’t move due to marginal tax rates. You just choose not to see it.

    –How much did that condo cost Ken Griffin in NYC again? $12 million? –

    LOL, maybe the doghouse. Griff bought his NYC condo for $238 million. And for many years he has had a $250 million spread in Palm Beach — no income taxes there. And a $122 million crib in London.

    But he made $9 billion in Chicago. So… incentive.

  57. - DuPage Moderate - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 8:53 am:

    wordslinger - my actual experience is much different than your “links”. Go to any country club in the western and northern suburbs and ask them about their experience with members in their 40s/50s/60s and the continual requests for non-resident membership conversions. The “links” may say one thing, the real world says another. And about those college kids….

  58. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 9:15 am:

    “Go to any country club in the western and northern suburbs”

    Country clubs? Many thousands if not a million or more of the most vulnerable Illinoisans lost social services during Rauner’s budget sabotage. He caused massive damage in his war on labor. The newest and lowest paid state workers were ripped off by Rauner since 2015.

    In 2018 we said no more of this damage. It’s time for the wealthy to pay a modestly higher state income tax. If certain wealthy people hate this and want to leave, it’s better for us that they go. There are other states that welcome anti-taxation, anti-unionism. But lower taxes also may often mean lower incomes and fewer attractions. Why is Griffin buying super-expensive property in New York but not in Tennessee, Indiana or any other state the anti-tax people want us to be?

  59. - Platon - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 9:17 am:

    Millions of vulnerable Illinoisans? What does that even mean?

  60. - Platon - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 9:18 am:

    A 60% tax increase is hardly modest.

  61. - Platon - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 9:19 am:

    Illinois has very few attractions and is high tax. The proposed tax uncrease is not attractive either.

  62. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 11:41 am:

    [[wordslinger - my actual experience is much different than your “links”. Go to any country club in the western and northern suburbs and ask them about their experience with members in their 40s/50s/60s and the continual requests for non-resident membership conversions.–

    LOL, ahoi polloi, Spaulding, I’m sure your anecdotal experience is worth a cheeseburger, a hot dog and a milkshake. When is “Caddyshack III” coming out?

    But here’s a “link” that summarizes a 12-year-study of the migration patterns on every million-dollar earner in the United States.

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