Corporate Welfare

We should be drug-testing these freeloaders.

The soon-to-be-released study, “Nothing but Net Profit: Jerry Reinsdorf, Property Tax Relief, and Corporate School Reform on Chicago’s Near West Side,” says tax breaks the United Center received from the state have saved the owners tens of millions of dollars, in exchange for Reinsdorf and Bill Wirtz, then owner of the Blackhawks, agreeing to build it on their own without public financing.

According to data CTU obtained from the Cook County Board of Review through the Freedom of Information Act, the United Center paid $8.5 million in property taxes for the six years from 2002 through 2007.

That’s because the General Assembly had previously approved legislation setting the UC’s assessment at 20 percent of market value — well below the 38 percent maximum rate for commercial properties at the time — and gave the UC a sweetheart deal to deduct income taxes, maintenance costs and mortgage interest from income.

Every time somebody says public education has failed because we’ve already thrown so much money at it I bring up stuff like this.


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