Truth Test: ad claims JB Pritzker removed toilets to avoid taxes - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Truth Test: ad claims JB Pritzker removed toilets to avoid taxes

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WSIL -- The ad wars continue in the Illinois governor's race between Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner and Democratic challenger JB Pritzker.

As the general election heats up, News 3 will be fact-checking claims made by the candidates in person and in ads.

At issue today, a Rauner ad that claims Pritzker removed the toilets from one of his mansions in an effort to avoid taxes. 

The attack started last month, in which Rauner claims Pritzker, a billionaire, removed the toilets from one of his Chicago mansions to avoid taxes.

The ad says, “Chicago’s porcelain prince of tax avoidance, JB Pritzker,” the ad says. “Pritzker removed the toilets from one of his Chicago mansions to avoid taxes. Pritzker removed every single toilet from his multi-million dollar second home and claimed it as uninhabitable. A royal flush of tax avoidance.”

The Rauner campaign is also driving around a van and putting up billboards for Pritzker Plumbing, Inc.

If you dial the number listed, 1-833-tax-scam, you hear a jingle, “Your taxes are high… your ethics are low…buy another mansion the toilets got to go. Pritzker Plumbing… disconnect your toilet… dodge your taxes.”

But is JB Pritzker really the porcelain prince as Rauner claims, removing toilets to avoid taxes?

According to a report from the Chicago Sun Times last year, Pritzker has saved about $230,000 in property taxes on the home by having it declared uninhabitable.

The report shows Pritzker’s lawyers filed documents with the Cook County Assessor’s office calling the mansion “vacant and uninhabitable”, adding that the toilets had been disconnected and the home had no functioning bathrooms or kitchen.

These arguments caused the assessor to slash its value from $6.25 million to just more that $1.1 million, and led the property taxes to fall 83 percent. 

At the time the Pritzker campaign said the tax breaks came as part of a routine appeal available to any homeowner.

So did Pritzker try to flush away his taxes by removing toilets? We rate this claim True.

News 3 will be fact-checking politicians throughout the election season, so if there's a claim you want us to truth test, email truthtest@wsiltv.com.

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