Do you support or oppose banning elected officials from serving as property tax lawyers?

Corruption

Elected officials should not serve as property tax lawyers. Just look at House Speaker Mike Madigan. He's been the Speaker for more than 30 years while at the same time he has made millions of dollars from his work as a property tax lawyer. It's an inherent conflict of interest that has allowed him to become rich off the system while the middle-class struggles with growing property tax bills.

I fully support banning elected politicians from serving as property tax lawyers. As the recent report by the Tribune and Propublica shows, the property tax system in Cook County and beyond is a tool used by politicians to curry favor and power with special interests. Property taxes are the single-largest tax paid by Illinoisans. Illinoisans will pay approximately $30 billion in property taxes in 2018, compared to just $17 billion in net individual income taxes and $8 billion in net sales taxes. Yet this huge amount of money is assessed, collected and overseen by one of the most non-transparent and corrupt systems in the state.

Property owners everywhere — from residents to businesses — suffer from this unfair system. For example, I've helped expose how the Willis Tower in Chicago sold for $1.3 billion in 2015 even though it was assessed for tax purposes at only $535 million. Politicians like Mike Madigan and Chicago Ald. Burke shouldn't be able to legislate property tax rules then profit from them through their law firms. It's a clear conflict of interest, at a minimum.

Banning elected officials from serving as property tax lawyers is an idea we should consider, but we need to consider it in the context of all the potential conflicts of interest that elected officials have when voting on matters affecting their outside careers.

I would ban elected officials from serving as property tax lawyers.

I support banning elected officials from serving as property tax lawyers. I am the first Democratic candidate to make such a proposal and believe it is absolutely necessary to end the property tax racket in Illinois.

I support banning elected officials from serving as property tax lawyers. It does not make any sense for a legislator to help pass laws that have an impact on homeowners and serve as a property tax lawyer. Conflict of interest.

Oppose. You're looking at a broad proscription to solve the anomaly of the relationship between the House speaker and the Cook County assessor. As you may be aware, former Gov. Pat Quinn was a property tax lawyer, but he represented regular homeowners who were appealing their assessments for a fee of a few hundred dollars. Should he have been banned from public office? In the case of state legislators, that is a job that is, strictly speaking, part-time. Stipulating that the current situation involving the speaker and the Cook County assessor is as problematic as the Chicago Tribune has reported, such a ban would be tantamount to using a nuclear missile to swat flies. There has to be a way to solve this particular problem without banning otherwise well-intentioned people from serving in public office.

While an appealing prospect given histories of corruption at the county and state level, banning elected officials from serving as property tax lawyers is likely unconstitutional. However, even beyond legal concerns, this is a simplistic solution that misdiagnoses the issue. Our problems are deeper than any property tax lawyer — they stem from a broken, regressive, and outdated property tax system.

I fully support banning elected politicians from serving as property tax lawyers. As the recent report by the Tribune and Propublica shows, the property tax system in Cook County and beyond is a tool used by politicians to curry favor and power with special interests. Property taxes are the single-largest tax paid by Illinoisans. Illinoisans will pay approximately $30 billion in property taxes in 2018, compared to just $17 billion in net individual income taxes and $8 billion in net sales taxes. Yet this huge amount of money is assessed, collected and overseen by one of the most non-transparent and corrupt systems in the state.

Property owners everywhere — from residents to businesses — suffer from this unfair system. For example, I've helped expose how the Willis Tower in Chicago sold for $1.3 billion in 2015 even though it was assessed for tax purposes at only $535 million. Politicians like Mike Madigan and Chicago Ald. Burke shouldn't be able to legislate property tax rules then profit from them through their law firms. It's a clear conflict of interest, at a minimum.

Banning elected officials from serving as property tax lawyers is an idea we should consider, but we need to consider it in the context of all the potential conflicts of interest that elected officials have when voting on matters affecting their outside careers.

I would ban elected officials from serving as property tax lawyers.

I support banning elected officials from serving as property tax lawyers. I am the first Democratic candidate to make such a proposal and believe it is absolutely necessary to end the property tax racket in Illinois.

I support banning elected officials from serving as property tax lawyers. It does not make any sense for a legislator to help pass laws that have an impact on homeowners and serve as a property tax lawyer. Conflict of interest.

Oppose. You're looking at a broad proscription to solve the anomaly of the relationship between the House speaker and the Cook County assessor. As you may be aware, former Gov. Pat Quinn was a property tax lawyer, but he represented regular homeowners who were appealing their assessments for a fee of a few hundred dollars. Should he have been banned from public office? In the case of state legislators, that is a job that is, strictly speaking, part-time. Stipulating that the current situation involving the speaker and the Cook County assessor is as problematic as the Chicago Tribune has reported, such a ban would be tantamount to using a nuclear missile to swat flies. There has to be a way to solve this particular problem without banning otherwise well-intentioned people from serving in public office.

While an appealing prospect given histories of corruption at the county and state level, banning elected officials from serving as property tax lawyers is likely unconstitutional. However, even beyond legal concerns, this is a simplistic solution that misdiagnoses the issue. Our problems are deeper than any property tax lawyer — they stem from a broken, regressive, and outdated property tax system.