CBS (CHICAGO)—Illinois’ gubernatorial race reached new lows Tuesday as Gov. Bruce Rauner and challenger J.B. Pritzker battled it out over toilets and taxes.
A new round of caustic television ads released this week ask which candidate has gamed the system more in an effort to dodge paying their full property tax bills.
The battle that erupted Tuesday started with the republican governor’s camp releasing a commercial claiming Pritzker removed the toilets from one of his luxury homes in Chicago’s Gold Coast area to save money through a tax loophole.
Referring to Pritzker as the “Porcelain Prince of Tax Avoidance,” Rauner’s campaign ad shows movers hauling multiple toilets out of a luxurious home.
Calling the accusation a “royal flush of tax avoidance,” Rauner accuses the billionaire of removing the toilets to claim the home as “uninhabitable” to save on taxes.
Pritzker lashed out by promptly waging his own attack ad at Rauner in a commercial claiming the republican has filed 22 property tax appeals for the nine homes he owns.
With ominous background music playing in the background, Pritzker’s new ad says Rauner “wants to raise your property taxes,” claiming the “Rauner budget” — the budget the governor proposed earlier this year — would have cost taxpayers more than a $1 billion.
“Now he’s attacking someone else for the same thing? Now that’s bad,” the ad says.
Rauner voiced strong objections to the allegations Tuesday, telling CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley he’s never asked for any property tax abatements or adjustments.
“The difference is night and day, when Pritzker can engage in that kind of unethical behavior,” Rauner said. “Cheating on his taxes, taking a toilet out, and then working with Joe Berrios and saying, that building’s worthless now, (and) I shouldn’t have to pay any taxes on it. You are kidding me—how corrupt and self-serving can you be?”
Pritzker’s campaign said the candidate was unavailable for comment today.
Voters should get comfortable witnessing the two uber-wealthy candidates duke it out over integrity, competence, and other yet-to-surface issues during the next several months remaining until Election Day.
Rauner has reportedly bought about $1.5 million in air time for campaign commercials in the Chicago market, and Pritzker has spent about $1 million.