Alderman Greg Mitchell
A former aldermanic opponent of Alderman Greg Mitchell (7th) alleged that he received an illegal homeowner’s exemption on one of his four Chicago properties, but a check by the Chicago Crusader showed he is up to date with his taxes so far this year.
In an exclusive interview with the Chicago Crusader, Jocilyn Floyd, principal of the Chicagoland Mediation Services who ran against Mitchell last year, wants the city’s Board of Ethics to investigate Ald. Mitchell who had two properties with two homestead exemptions.
“How do you get that? Both properties were listed for over $100,000. How is that possible,” she asked. “I want the ethics board to investigate the alderman and his chief-of-staff.
“As an alderman, you have to have a level of transparency,” said Floyd. “He got two homestead exemptions that we know about, and the only reason he paid the money back is because someone blew the whistle.”
A check by the Chicago Crusader with the Cook County Assessor’s office showed that Mitchell has four properties in Chicago, 2113 E. 93rd St., his primary residence, which is eligible to receive a homestead exemption; 4101 S. Michigan Ave., no homestead exemption; 9627 S. Crandon, where he had the second homestead exemption that was flagged by the Assessor’s office. He does not receive a homestead exemption on his 9521 S. Oglesby Ave. property.
In a statement from the Assessor, Mitchell’s property on Crandon was reviewed for the eligibility of the homeowner exemption in June of 2023. “It was determined that the property (S. Crandon) was no longer eligible for the homeowner exemption for tax years 2018-2021.
“The property owner paid the total amount owed ($3,694.13) on July 6, 2023, and the property is no longer receiving the homeowner exemption. The primary residence on 93rd Street (2113 E. 93rd St.) is eligible for a homeowner exemption and is currently receiving the saving,” the statement concluded.
When reminded that Mitchell did repay the County for the illegal homestead exemption, Floyd said, “He claims to be a financial wizard?
“Former Ald. Ed Burke used his political influence for lower property taxes,” Floyd said. “Ald. Mitchell owns two pieces of property, of which he has received two homestead exemptions.
“Ald. Burke made a lot of money on property taxes,” Floyd said. “For aldermen to not pay their fair share of property taxes is egregious. When the County flagged him, how come that wasn’t in the newspapers?
“He thumbs his nose up at the law, and he should, like Burke, be investigated. What we need is transparency,” said Floyd.
“In addition to that, the values of Ald. Mitchell’s properties’ assessed values seemed low as well; there are too many mistakes as Ald. Mitchell claims to be a financial wizard.
“Ald. Mitchell intentionally participated in these acts while he earns $140,000 per year for a part-time, elected position and he gets two homeowner exemptions? If this were an ordinary citizen doing this, what would have happened?”
Floyd said his behavior with the properties is a mirror of how he has thumbed his nose up to several Black female businesspersons he allegedly blocked from opening up various businesses in his ward, just as he has allegedly ignored paying his taxes. “He is not above the law,” said Floyd.
She predicted that he will also “use his aldermanic prerogative to keep more Black females from opening businesses in his ward under the guise of “aldermanic prerogative.”
“However, there is a restaurant that opened on 75th and Exchange,” Floyd said, that is owned by Arab Americans. “There is also a coffee shop, which is owned by a Black woman, which opened up on East 79th Street.”
Floyd does not understand the litmus tests that Ald. Mitchell uses to accept or deny Black female business owners the right to open up shops in his ward.
But she is clear about one thing that Mitchell “is no different than former Alderman Edward Burke, who is on trial for alleged corruption charges. With Burke being on trial and Mike Madigan on trial for corruption, Mitchell should be included in these allegations,” reasoned Floyd
Efforts to reach Ald. Mitchell were unsuccessful before Crusader press time on Wednesday, November 21.