President Donald Trump’s appeal of property taxes he paid in 2012 for Trump International Hotel & Tower is now under investigation by the state.
An anonymous complaint to the inspector general’s office has shed light onto an allegation against a Republican state agency. The complaint claimed that Mauro Glorioso, executive director of the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board, pressured staff to give Trump a $1 million tax break for the hotel and retail space. The retail space in Trump Tower has sat vacant for nearly a decade, as The Real Deal chronicled in a 2019 investigation.
The state’s executive inspector general’s office and Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration are heading the investigation, but Pritzker’s staff did not confirm a complaint had been filed, according to the Sun-Times.
“PTAB should take no action until an investigation is complete,” Pritzker’s communications director Emily Bittner told the Sun-Times. “In general, it would be entirely inappropriate for a legal decision on a property tax appeal to be impacted by any of the conduct alleged in this complaint, including allegations of political motivations improperly driving the decision-making.”
Fighting the appeal is the Cook County state’s attorney’s office, who said the tax cuts could cost taxpayers $1 million. Half of the million would come out of the Chicago Public Schools and an additional 20 percent would come from the city of Chicago.
The complaint also detailed the events leading up to Trump appealing to the state. It claims that hearing officer Simeon Nockov decided that the hotel and retail space had been accurately valued by the Cook County Board of Review for $62.4 million. Trump appealed, and the county agency led by Joe Berrios reduced the property assessment but it still wasn’t enough for Trump, which resulted in Trump appealing to the state and receiving the $1 million tax cut.
The appeal was filed in 2012 by former Alderman Ed Burke.
“The administration is determined to get to the bottom of what happened in this situation and will ensure that a thorough investigation is conducted,” Bittner told the Sun-Times. [Sun-Times] — Jacqueline Flynn