Rep. Ugaste wants Springfield to focus on state's most immediate problems, despite distractions
Illinois State Rep. Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) wonders how Gov. J.B. Pritzker can continue on the same path he's set for himself over his first 100 days in office, given the fact that he is reportedly under federal investigation for an alleged property tax scheme.
“It makes it tough to ask for more money from others when there is a question about whether you’ve paid all of your own taxes,” Ugaste told the Kane County Reporter. “Obviously, they think something is there if they’re still looking into it.”
WBEZ Radio reported earlier this month that federal investigators are still formally investigating Pritzker and at least two family members, including his wife, stemming from actions they allegedly took to assure the family was assessed a lower property tax rate for one of their multi-million-dollar mansions. More specifically, Pritzker and his wife are accused of ordering workers to remove all the toilets from a Gold Coast property in order to have it declared uninhabitable, resulting in property tax savings for the family in the neighborhood of $330,000.
News of the scandal first broke shortly before Election Day last November and soon after that Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard deemed the act a “scheme to defraud” following his own investigation.
“People need to pay their fair share in taxes and that includes the governor," added Ugaste, a Geneva attorney elected as state representative of the 65th District in November. “I hope this isn’t another case where the Governor of Illinois is found to be involved in a federal crime.”
Pritzker has denied all wrongdoing and through attorney Marc Elias, a partner with the firm of Perkins Coie, insists that neither he nor his wife have been contacted by investigators in the matter.
“Let the investigators figure it out,” said Ugaste. “We need to start solving immediate problems to help get this state turned around. The governor has been focused on this progressive tax, which at the very earliest won’t come into being until 2020 or 2021. I’d like to be more focused on the here and now.”
Ugaste’ 65th House District includes Batavia, Burlington, Dundee, Elgin, Geneva, Grafton, Hampshire, Plato, Rutland and St. Charles.