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Kennedy blames “corruptible” assessment “racket” for underfunded schools

Monday, May 22, 2017

* But he doesn’t propose an alternative. From the Kennedy campaign…

This morning, the Kennedy campaign released the following video message from Chris Kennedy, addressing voters about our broken property tax system. He is inviting voters to share their stories about how relying on property taxes to fund education has affected local schools.

* The video

* Transcript…

Many of us received a property tax bill recently, and if you opened it, and you read it, you’re probably angry.

If you’re not angry you’re at least confused.

The whole system is designed to keep you that way. In fact, the document that you’ve received makes it very difficult to figure out what the county is assessing your home at. They use a number that’s a “discounted number.” They show you a 10 percent number, they don’t show you the full number and so you think you’re getting a deal and don’t complain.

That’s the way they’ve designed the system, to keep people in the dark. The rich and connected, they hire lawyers and lobbyists to go in and have private meetings in the assessor’s office to change the value of those properties even before the number is ever published.

And because they pay less, we pay more. But worse than that, is because they pay less, our kids get less.

I know how this system works and I’m going to fix it.

In Illinois, we fund our local schools with property taxes. The reason we keep funding our schools this way, though everybody in the legislature knows that this is not the right thing to do, the reason we do it, is because it’s a corruptible system. It’s a way for the insiders to effect the valuation of all the properties in our state.

Because of this racket, the schools are constantly underfunded. That’s why a lot of the schools don’t have a library. They don’t have recess on a playground. They don’t have a computer lab.

We need to move away from the property tax system and have our state pay its fair share of everybody’s local schools.

We’re going to need a mandate for such change and that’s where you come in.

I’d like to hear your story, how your school is impacted.

Let’s shine a little daylight on it. Let’s tell our stories and then let’s confront the government and make a change.

Keep in mind, however, that Kennedy got a $10,000 reduction in the assessed valuation of his own home.

* Related…

* Kennedy-led company used Madigan’s firm for property tax refunds: Madigan & Getzendanner won more than $133,000 in property tax refunds for at least one property owned by Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc., or MMPI, according to two checks the Cook County Treasurer’s Office sent out in 2009. Kennedy served as the president of MMPI from 2000 to 2011. Both checks indicate property tax refunds paid to the order of “Merchandise Mart Prop c/o Madigan Getzendanner.” The first refund of $60,884.17 was for tax year 2003. The second refund of $72,460.08 was for tax year 2005. The checks were sent to the office of Madigan & Getzendanner at 30 N. LaSalle St.

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      


Bank deposits and bank failures again issues here

Monday, May 22, 2017

* Tribune

Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker is making a $1 million deposit in a black-owned bank in Chicago, taking a page from Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s playbook.

The issue led to back-and-forth attacks from the two campaigns centered on failures of financial institutions Rauner and the Pritzker family have been involved with in their careers.

Pritzker’s planned deposit, like Rauner’s three years ago in a South Side credit union, carries the goal of generating support from black voters.

Pritzker’s campaign tried to draw a distinction between the two men’s actions: the Democrat’s money pledge was only announced on a Chicago radio show, while Rauner’s visit to the credit union was a major campaign event.

The two sides then exchanged barbs much like they’ve been doing on this blog for weeks.

* The Pritzker campaign’s initial release…

Bruce Rauner told Illinois communities that he would fight for them, but then he got elected and left Illinoisans behind. Rauner has stood with his special interest friends to decimate our state’s economy as our most vulnerable communities pay the price. Unlike Bruce Rauner, Illinois communities can count on JB to stand with them as governor because that’s what he’s done his entire career. JB will ensure Illinoisans have a seat at the table as he works to grow jobs, support small businesses, expand access to capital, and bring investment directly into black and brown communities.

* The Rauner campaign’s response…

It’s a drop in the bucket compared to the millions Pritzker made peddling subprime mortgages loans to minority communities, while costing the taxpayers $300 million and ordinary depositors their savings.

* Back to the Tribune for a bit of context

In December 2001, the Pritzker family and its business partner agreed to pay $460 million to the U.S. over the bank’s failure and a decade later got a discount on remaining payments of the 15-year settlement by agreeing with regulators to pay off the balance early, Bloomberg News reported in May 2013.

* The Pritzker campaign shot back…

Bruce Rauner is desperate to distract from the fact that throughout his business career and his time as governor, working families have paid the price for his failures. At HomeBanc, Bruce Rauner profited off of predatory loans, preying on the dreams of working families. He then drove the company into the ground, firing approximately 1,100 people, but making sure his CEO got a nearly $5 million golden parachute. Rauner’s distraction tactics won’t change the fact that he has yet to pass a constitutionally required budget for our state.

* The Trib took a look at the HomeBanc issue after Pat Quinn aired a TV ad about it

The new ad focuses on HomeBanc Mortgage Corp., which filed for bankruptcy in 2007. A narrator contends the bankruptcy came after Rauner “took millions out of” the firm, noted HomeBanc’s CEO got a $5 million “bonus” and 1,100 employees who lost their jobs “got a $20 gift card.”

The equity firm Rauner formerly chaired, GTCR, partnered in 2000 to create HomeBanc Mortgage. While GTCR once held a majority stake in the firm, it reduced its holdings after a public stock offering, selling the last of its shares in September 2006, Security and Exchange Commission records show.

GTCR’s actions came just months before the sudden financial unraveling of the mortgage company in 2007 led first to the January firing of CEO Patrick Flood, followed by an August bankruptcy filing. But GTCR had no board members on the mortgage firm involved in its management since 2005, prior to Flood’s firing and severance, and the bankruptcy filing. Records show Rauner was not a board member of HomeBanc in the lead up to its public offering in 2004.

Quinn’s 2014 TV ad is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      


PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Question of the day
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
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* Different budget perspectives
* Pritzker creates website, Pawar hits the road
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* How are we going to pay for this?
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* This is the wrong hill to die on
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