CHICAGO – The Sun-Times Watchdogs has a scathing report Monday on how Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has benefited by getting property taxes on Chicago's Trump Tower lowered through the influence of Alderman Ed Burke's powerful law firm.
Not only does Ed Burke head a powerful property tax appeal law firm, the Sun-Times piece fails to connect that he's a longtime Chicago alderman that vets Cook County Democrats' judicial candidates, and he is married to Illinois Supreme Court justice Ann Burke.
In other words, Burke is as powerful as Mike Madigan – who is chairman of the Illinois Democrat Party, longtime Speaker of the Illinois House and father of Illinois' attorney general Lisa Madigan – among those that make lucrative deals concerning property tax appeals in Chicago.
The Sun-Times found that Burke's law firm is working for Donald Trump again – which is likely to result in average, low-clout property owners making up the difference:
Now, Burke’s law firm, Klafter & Burke, is trying to get partial refunds of those taxes for the billionaire and his investors. The firm has filed appeals in court and to a state agency, arguing the taxes paid were too high in some years.
Burke is among an elite group of current and former Chicago politicians working for law firms that specialize in helping property owners navigate Cook County’s arcane property-tax system. These clout-heavy lawyers try to persuade other elected officials — the Cook County assessor, the Cook County Board of Review’s commissioners and judges — to lower the estimated values of buildings and other real estate.
When they succeed, that means lower property taxes for their clients — and higher bills for other property owners to make up the difference. The attorneys generally work for a percentage of the savings.
More at the Chicago Sun-Times
They need to show that something wrong has been done and the specifics. A taxpayer having access to an appeal of the over reach of a government entity is necessary. I’ve appealed my property taxes and have had them reduced because valuations were way out of line. While I immediately have suspicions when Burke is mentioned, implication alone is not enough.
I am sure Donald will cease his behind the scenes lobbying with big govt hacks like Burke once he is the nominee, right? He is a populist no isn’t he? After all, he is like all of the rest of us common folk. Or wait, isn’t this the type of crony capitalism we have all come to detest? I thought we were all frustrated when big money allows lawmakers to make and abide to a different set of rules. This is confusing.
Yeah, he actually is a populist because he said exactly what’s happening in the country right now: big govt hacks, like a lot of Republican elected officials, are lobbied by industries like Silicon Valley or Hedge Funds. His point is that he knows all about how it works and he’s rich, so he’s going to go right after dismantling it which evidently is radioactive to all of these rich people who have dumped hundreds of millions of dollars into stopping him. Not one of the other candidates actually said this at the beginning.
Scott Reeder just wrote:
“Not only are Illinois property taxes exorbitant, they are an integral part of an immoral system in Cook County in which business owners are forced to hire politically connected lawyers to get their property tax bills reduced.”
– So stop pretending that Trump’s a Democrat and that’s why he gets it. They all do it. The difference is Trump is exposing it to light, finally.