By: Mark Glennon*
Andy Shaw, President of the Better Government Association, addressed the need to outlaw certain conflicts of interest in an interview with him published this week. He summarized a root, underlying cause of Illinois’ problems:
Ed Burke, Speaker Michael Madigan, and Senate President John Cullerton, collectively are responsible for over 60 billion tax dollars per year. All three of them also have private law practices that specialize in getting large corporations and property owners tax breaks on their property tax bills. They save these people tens of millions of dollars that have to be made up by whom? By us.
Business people in Illinois already know that, which is one reason why they are fearful about speaking up, and partly explains how those three can be continually elected in Illinois. Shaw’s point also speaks to the fantastic inconsistencies in the true rates paid on property taxes.
Madigan alone reportedly makes seven figures a year off that law practice. All three thrive on the rotten property tax system they oversee. Their political support stems largely from fear over property tax appraisals. Outlaw that conflict of interest and much would improve in Illinois.
*Mark Glennon is founder of WirePoints and a business consultant.