Tax-free Chicago Teachers Union attacks Chicago Bulls chairman over tax breaks

January 4, 2013

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Trevor TenBrink Trevor TenBrink

Trevor was website administrator for EAG from December 2012 to March 2014.
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By Victor Skinner
EAGnews.org

CHICAGO – The Chicago Teachers Union has a lot of nerve.

unitedcenterIn a “soon-to-be-released study,” the CTU is taking aim at Chicago Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and owners of the United Center, claiming they aren’t paying as much taxes on the arena as they should.

In line with the union’s class warfare campaign, CTU officials contend that the United Center paid $8.5 million in taxes between 2002 and 2007, and should have paid an estimated $71.8 million, if it wasn’t for legislation approved by the Illinois General Assembly, DNAinfo.com reports.

“CTU suggested the $30 to $60 million in savings over six years dwarfed the $2 million Reinsdorf contributed to help launch a charter school Chicago Bulls College Prep (a charter school) in 2009, as well as the $8 million he contributed in the 1990s to build a Boys & Girls Club on the Near West Side and bolster Chicago Public Schools’ afterschool programs,” according to the news site.

But here’s the irony: Tax records show the teachers union raked in $29.4 million in income last year alone and didn’t pay one red cent in taxes.

Since the CTU seems so focused on tax liability, perhaps union officials can explain to the public why they feel their organization shouldn’t have to contribute its fair share.

The union’s objective of the study, of course, is to demonize those who support non-government school options in the Windy City, since most of those options are non-unionized and indirectly cut into the CTU’s tax-free racket. CTU officials obviously want to smear Reinsdorf because of his support for charter schools like the Chicago Bulls College Prep. The union attacked city board of education members Penny Pritzker and Bruce Rauner for the same reason, DNAinfo.com reports.

As expected, the United Center was quick to defend its tax history, and to point out the union’s disingenuous tactics.

“It is disappointing that any group would mislead the public by suggesting the United Center does anything other than pay all property, sales, amusement, parking and employment taxes, in full, as required by law,” UC management said in a statement according to the news site.

“Since opening as a privately funded and operated arena in August 1995, the United Center has generated more than $310 million in direct tax revenues for the city, county and state,” the statement reads. “It is both disappointing and inaccurate to suggest that our charitable activities and longstanding support for public education in Chicago are in any way related to those taxes.”

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