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Ricketts property tax issue referred to state’s attorney

Thursday, Sep 5, 2019

* July

Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts’ designer Wilmette home is worth more than twice as much as previously thought — and that could more than double his property tax bill next year and trigger a tab of at least $60,000 in back taxes and interest.

That bottom line emerged Tuesday as the Cook County assessor’s office completed its reassessment of Ricketts’ property following a Tribune story that revealed the Republican National Committee finance chairman had been paying taxes as if the older, smaller house he’d torn down more than a decade ago was still there.

* Today

The Cook County Board of Review has referred to the state’s attorney its investigation of Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts’ property tax appeal on his designer Wilmette home after concluding that Ricketts and his real estate lawyer made “misrepresentations” that lowered tax bills by tens of thousands of dollars.

The tax appeals panel concluded that it “does not have sufficient evidence to establish” that either Ricketts or attorney James FortCamp “knowingly misled” officials. But the board also noted it does not have the authority to compel those involved to testify under oath. […]

Ricketts’ attorney, former federal prosecutor Patrick Collins, wrote a four-page letter to the tax board that described the appeal as “a series of good faith miscommunications.”

“While Mr. Ricketts takes responsibility for the errors, there was no intent to deceive anyone,” the letter read.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

30 Comments »
  1. - efudd - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 10:06 am:

    “there was no intent to deceive anyone”

    Gotta have them the size of coconuts to put that in writing and expect anyone to believe it.


  2. - VerySmallRocks - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 10:07 am:

    I so badly want to interject something gratuitous about toilets into this story…


  3. - Bertrum Cates - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 10:11 am:

    “While Mr. Ricketts takes responsibility for the errors, there was no intent to deceive anyone.”

    Oh, Todd.


  4. - JS Mill - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 10:13 am:

    =I so badly want to interject something gratuitous about toilets into this story…=

    Right, because this rich guy is on YOUR side…LOL.


  5. - Pick a Name - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 10:15 am:

    Removing toilets ok apparently


  6. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 10:19 am:

    Ok… (Sigh)

    To those trolling,

    You can’t say “if they were a Democrat” here…

    … then bring up “12 minutes” later, about a different thing, that Pritzker is *still* being legally scrutinized.

    Please, pick a lane.


  7. - Responsa - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    Heh, $60,000 is just a few hours worth of bad Cubs pitching. No biggie. That issue is what Cub fans would like to refer to the States Attorney for investigation and penalty.


  8. - Skeptic - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    “I’m sorry if you were offended” and “I’m sorry if you were deceived” do sound awfully similar.


  9. - Henry Francis - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    Funny how his abode is always referred to as a “designer Wilmette home”.

    Cut a check and Collins will keep a lid on this.


  10. - Moe Berg - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 10:38 am:

    I wonder what the federal prosecutor versions of Patrick Fitzgerald (look up his work “investigating” the Larry Nassar case at Michigan State) and Patrick Collins would have to say about their later lawyerly incarnations?


  11. - SAP - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 10:47 am:

    Ricketts’ explanation does not pass the smell test.


  12. - Dave W - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 10:55 am:

    If he had only just removed his toilets, or better yet, hired Madigan & Getzrendanner to handle his tax appeal.


  13. - Simple Simon - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:05 am:

    So Ricketts claimed that a house he tore down was still there despite living in the new one. Pritzker claimed that the uninhabited house next door was uninhabitable. If you think these are equivalent, I don’t know what to tell you. Go Cardinals.


  14. - City Zen - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:07 am:

    ==I so badly want to interject something gratuitous about toilets into this story==

    We’re talking Cubs here, so troughs.


  15. - don the legend - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:09 am:

    ==If he had only just removed his toilets, or better yet, hired Madigan & Getzrendanner to handle his tax appeal.==

    Yeah but he didn’t. He just maybe deliberately lied and avoided paying his legally required real estate taxes.


  16. - Arock - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:12 am:

    Did he fail to get a demolition permit for the old house and then a building permit for the new house from the local government agency in charge of these items?


  17. - northernwatersports - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:22 am:

    When someone tries to convince me that “a series of good faith miscommunication” is what’s behind this travesty, it begins to sound like an attempt to hide, and ultimately gain an economic or political advantage.
    When the true, final (and originally intended) results occur and get exposed to daylight, the public gets really agitated.

    Metaphorically of course(no violence or harm intended or encouraged)…the general public has gathered their pitchforks and torches.

    The affluent (D and R) have gamed the system to their own selfish ends, privatized their own profits at the expense of the public’s economic benefit. The public knows bad behavior when they see it, but it sometimes takes years for the reality to become clear.


  18. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:24 am:

    lol Cubs. “Please ignore the criminal actions of the owner of my baseball team because ….something something toilets”. Reduced to defending a ricketts and hoping for the opportunity to once again lose a one game tiebreaker to the Brewers. Talk about a joyless existence


  19. - GA Watcher - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:30 am:

    FYI, Forbes magazine reported at the beginning of the season that the value of the Cubs franchise increase 7 percent to $3.1 billion. The greedy just get greedier.


  20. - Angry Republican - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:58 am:

    Hmmm, property tax issue; Ricketts is DEFINITELY planning a run for office.


  21. - Jocko - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 12:17 pm:

    ==a series of good faith miscommunications==

    That’s the most delicate expression of FRAUD I have ever read. Has anyone asked Todd’s wife (Sylvie Légère, co-president of The Policy Circle) her thoughts on what happened?


  22. - jeffo773 - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 12:22 pm:

    ==hired Madigan & Getzrendanner to handle his tax appeal.==

    It works. Just ask the former owner of the Chicago strip club VIPs. Madigan handled the appeals. In 2014, VIPs was paying $6,000/yr in property taxes. The owner sold it and now its up to $30,000/yr.


  23. - Soccermom - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 12:51 pm:

    That house is something.

    https://www.dirkdenisonarchitects.com/projects/wilmette


  24. - Frank Talks - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 1:44 pm:

    Looks like an office complex, inside and out. Very sterile and unimpressive for a home on the Northshore.
    I’m sure there is some architectural symbolism or some famous architect who had these types of designs but I don’t see it.


  25. - Rich Hill - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 2:00 pm:

    Dude, you have Theo managing your team’s luxury tax payments. Couldn’t you have him make sure your payments on other assets are in order?


  26. - JS Mill - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 2:45 pm:

    =The affluent (D and R) have gamed the system to their own selfish ends, privatized their own profits at the expense of the public’s economic benefit.=

    Yep, spot on.

    And then they get everyone to fight over the crumbs.


  27. - Dave W - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 3:18 pm:

    =Did he fail to get a demolition permit for the old house and then a building permit for the new house from the local government agency in charge of these items?=

    I don’t see how this could fly under the radar screen. I’m wondering if the assessor’s office failed to recognize the permits. Is it really a homeowner’s responsibility to make sure the assessor’s office is following up on permit to make sure they’re being taxed properly?

    Not saying Rickett’s is totally innocent, but shouldn’t most of this responsibility be on the assessor’s office?


  28. - qualified someone nobody sent - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 3:41 pm:

    Sending permits to the County assessor is within the prevue of the local New Trier Township Assessor’s office who collects them from municipalities and sends them to the County Assessor. Who can remember how long there wasn’t an elected Township Assessor there? Years if I remember correctly. This is an example of how important LOCAL elected officials are.


  29. - Boone's is Back - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 3:46 pm:

    Won’t somebody please think of the Koi fish?


  30. - Simple Simon - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 4:21 pm:

    ==shouldn’t most of this responsibility be on the assessor’s office?===

    Not when Ricketts appealed his taxes using the details of the old house after the new one was built. That’s fraud, oops, I mean, a simple mistake.

    https://capitolfax.com/2019/07/09/todd-ricketts-is-in-some-hot-tax-water/


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