Illinois gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy said Tuesday the state’s property tax system is rigged to benefit the wealthy and politically powerful, but the Democrat is not naming names.
In a speech in a hallway of the Harold Washington Cultural Center, Kennedy told a group of supporters that the state’s property tax system is at the root of problems like gun violence and inadequate education funding.
Instead, he wants to rely more heavily on a progressive state income tax. If elected governor, Kennedy said he would implement “radical” reforms, like banning the Cook County assessor from leading political parties and stopping elected officials from being property tax lawyers.
These reforms were clearly veiled swipes at Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios, who is the chairman of the Cook County Democratic party, and House Speaker Michael Madigan, whose law firm files appeals to property tax assessments.
But when questioned by reporters, Kennedy insisted his campaign wasn’t about them.
“This isn’t about individuals by any stretch of the imagination, it’s about an entire system, and it really begins with kids,” Kennedy said.
Also running in the Democratic primary are Dan Biss, Ameya Pawar, JB Pritzker, and Bob Daiber.
Lauren Chooljian covers politics for WBEZ. You can follow her at @laurenchooljian.
Editor’s note: Chicago Public Media receives philanthropic support from The Pritzker Foundation. J.B. Pritzker, who is campaigning for governor in the Democratic Primary, is not involved with the foundation and does not contribute to it.