Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

No toilets in a JB’s glass house

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By Ray Hanania

Governor JB Pritzker, the Daddy Warbucks of political hypocrisy, attacked several legislators this past week, demanding that they resign from office.

One is State Senator Emil Jones III, a Pritzker critic, who is facing federal bribery charges.

The charges against Jones are similar to charges filed against several other legislators, but Pritzker has not urged them to resign.

But should an elected official who manipulated his real estate information to significantly reduce his property taxes also resign from office?

RayHanania 1

Ray Hanania

Just before winning the election for governor in November 2018, information leaked that Pritzker removed five toilets from his $6.3 million Astor Street mansion so the property could be reclassified as “uninhabitable.” He had purchased the property next door valued at $3.7 million.

Removing the toilets and being classified as “uninhabitable” reduced Pritzker’s property value from $6.3 million to $1.1 million, and significantly reduced his property tax bill.

Property taxes on a $6.3 million home are about $343,000 a year. Property taxes on a home worth $1 million are about $54,000. Pritzker qualified for an additional $132,000 refund for past taxes.

That reduction made it easier for Pritzker to pay the property taxes on his “smaller” $3.7 million new home, estimated to be only $200,000 a year.

Once exposed, Pritzker whined that it was all “political.” Then he repaid the money. Former Gov. Bruce Rauner told reporters, “A bank robber who gives the money back is still a bank robber.”

It’s not like Pritzker couldn’t easily pay the higher property taxes. He’s a rich brat billionaire worth more than $3.2 billion.

Pritzker’s efforts to cut his own property taxes are tragically ironic, considering that Illinois property taxes are the second highest in the nation, according to Illinois Policy.

As governor, Pritzker could change all that, but he focused instead on himself. Property taxes were the second highest in the nation when he took office and are still the second highest in the nation now.

Illinois may be the second worst when it comes to having the highest property taxes, but Pritzker is number one when it comes to hypocrisy.

Pritzker holds to rigid standards, for those he opposes; and he turns a blind eye to those he supports. So, for Pritzker, it’s really nothing about the best interests of the taxpayers.

For example, Pritzker said he was suspending the state gasoline tax for six months to ease the burden on taxpayers. But that was after he doubled the state gasoline tax from 19 cents to 38 cents a gallon. It will be a double whammy for motorists and taxpayers after the Nov. 8 elections.

That Pritzker gives himself breaks while doubling taxes for everyone else isn’t Illinois’ only problem. Pritzker has failed to address rising crime in Chicagoland and Illinois is his biggest problem.

Pritzker appointed the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, which has the power to impose conditions on people who leave prisons, determines whether someone has violated parole and makes recommendations to the governor on clemency.

Pritzker’s Prisoner Review Board released three prisoners who were convicted of killing police officers.

Pritzker pushed through the Safe-T Act, misleading many legislators into believing that the law would be tough on crime and only ease punishments for hardcore criminals.

In fact, the Safe-T Act does more for criminals than it does to protect law-abiding citizens.

One of the provisions removes automatic cash bail for criminals including murderers and rapists, giving judges the power to impose them. But Pritzker asserts that efforts to change his law allows murderers to “pay their way out of jail.”

Several legislators said they will introduce significant amendments to correct the law’s serious pro-criminal benefits, but that’s only if Pritzker loses his grip on the legislators who depend on his campaign largesse for their elections.

Several county state’s attorneys filed lawsuits to block Pritzker’s Safe-T Act, including two Democrats: Will County’s James Glasgow and Kankakee County’s Jim Rowe.

Pritzker lives in a glass house of hypocrisy, and without toilets he is full of you know what. But, he can always count on his lobbyist pals and Capitol scribe cronies to support him.

If Pritzker wins re-election, you might as well give the keys to your home and car to criminals who have not posted bond, who have not been detained and who continue to roam the streets in Pritzker’s lawless Illinois.

Check out Ray Hanania’s columns and political podcasts at hanania.com.

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