Gov. Pritzker’s property tax break being probed by feds: report

Authorities are reportedly looking into 2-year-old accusations about a dubious tax break for toilets removed at mansion

Governor J.B. Pritzker (Credit: iStock and Getty Images)
Governor J.B. Pritzker (Credit: iStock and Getty Images)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and his family reportedly are being investigated by federal authorities over a two-year-old controversy involving a property tax break related to toilets that were removed from their Gold Coast mansion.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker's residence at 1435 North Astor Street and 1431 North Astor Street

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s residence at 1435 North Astor Street and 1431 North Astor Street

Pritzker, first lady MK Pritzker and her brother Thomas J. Muenster are being targeted for their roles in the controversy, which reignited near the end of the governor’s successful campaign against incumbent Bruce Rauner last year, WBEZ first reported.

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A law-enforcement source confirmed to the public radio station that the investigation began in October and remains active.

The billionaire governor and his wife came under scrutiny after they won a property tax break for a 126-year-old mansion next to their Gold Coast home by removing its toilets and claiming it to be vacant and uninhabitable. The Cook County assessor’s office lowered the home’s market value from $6.3 million to less than $1.1 million.

Cook County’s inspector general office called it a “scheme to defraud” taxpayers out of more than $331,000.

Lawyers for the Pritzkers denied any wrongdoing on the part of the couple, and Muenster did not respond to WBEZ’s request for comment. At a news conference on Wednesday, the governor said he and his wife had not been contacted by authorities and that “all the rules were followed,” according to the Chicago Tribune. [WBEZ] — John O’Brien