A slew of high ranking Democrats showed up in Bloomington Normal for a letter carriers union convention at the Uptown Marriot. They included the Senate President John Cullerton, Senator Dick Durbin, and businessman and Gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy.
Kennedy is taking aim at the state property tax system saying it's 'legalized extortion' when politically elected assessors elevate assessments and politically connected lawyers appeal them. Kennedy said this is not just a problem in Chicago, but everywhere in the state.
"The most expensive houses are almost always undervalued and the least expensive houses are almost always overvalued. So, the system is stacked against the middle class and the poor," said Kennedy.
Kennedy said he wants to make assessors non elected experts. He also wants to ban lawyers in the property tax appeals industry from holding high party offices. And that is often taken as a slap at Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan whose legal firm specializes in property tax appeals.
"I don't think that an elected official should be in that business. I don't think an elected official should have conflicts of interest. I don't think that is good government or good governance and many other places have banned such behavior. We ban it at the federal level," said Kennedy.
Other Democratic Candidates include billionaire real estate magnate JB Pritzker, Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar and State Senator Daniel Biss.
Kennedy once operated the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. He is the son of the late Senator Robert Kennedy.
Editor's Note: Copy changed to correct a quote to read the "least expensive houses are almost always overvalued."
WGLT depends on financial support from users to bring you stories and interviews like this one. As someone who values experienced, knowledgeable, and award-winning journalists covering meaningful stories in central Illinois, please consider making a contribution.