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Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts has property tax problem

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The Chicago Tribune reports that Chicago Cubs co-owner and Republican/Trump fundraiser Todd Ricketts is in some hot water over property taxes.

He and his wife bought an old 2,500 square foot house several years ago, knocked it down and built a new, much larger house on the lot. Due to what appears to be some governmental inefficiency, the county department which gave Ricketts the permit to build his larger house did not forward the paperwork to the tax assessor, so Ricketts kept being assessed at the lower rate for many years.

Which, hey, that happens. And even as a bleedin’ lefty commie, I can acknowledge that that’s on the government. There’s a law that requires people to say when they think their assessment should go up but, c’mon, people really should not be expected to run downtown and say “wait, I think I owe you more money!” Ricketts would have no recourse if the county figured it out and asked him for back taxes, of course, but I think we all agree that we’d probably wait to be told that our tax bill was going up if we were in his shoes.

Except there was one additional problem here. Ricketts, through his lawyer, later tried to get his tax reduced even more by claiming that he still had the old, smaller house:

In 2013, Ricketts’ attorney had a chance to tell Cook County tax officials about the new home during a property tax appeal but instead sought a reduction based on the age and size of the old house, according to documents the Tribune obtained through an open-records request. The paperwork included a photo of the century-old home that had been demolished.

Say what you want about Todd Ricketts and his lawyer, but they are not lacking in chutzpah. Now, of course, they’re likely not lacking in an investigation as to whether they’ve committed tax fraud or something like it. At the very least the lawyer is going to be in hot water, ethically speaking.

As the Tribune notes, Ricketts, his siblings and his father, who co-own the Cubs together, are not new to the “taxes for thee but not for me” game:

[The Ricketts] family that secured an $8.5 million county historic renovation property tax break for its rehab of Wrigley Field. That project also is in line to receive more than $100 million in federal tax credits.

Those are fine, presumably, as those taxes are apparently being paid by other people.

 

 

 

Cards’ Yadier Molina says he tested positive for COVID-19

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St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina says he’s one of the players on the team who tested positive for COVID-19.

The nine-time All-Star revealed his results Tuesday in a Spanish-language Instagram post. Soon afterward, the Cardinals issued a release naming six of the players who have tested positive.

The others are infielders Paul DeJong, Edmundo Sosa and Rangel Ravelo along with pitchers Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley.

“I am saddened to have tested positive for COVID-19, even after adhering to safety guidelines that were put in place,” Molina said in a release issued by the team. “I will do everything within my power to return as soon as possible for Cardinals fans, the city of St. Louis and my teammates.”

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Monday that seven players and six staff members had tested positive. At the time, Mozeliak said the people to test positive hadn’t been identified publicly because they had declined to have their names released.

The Cardinals said Tuesday that six players had decided to grant permission to have their names revealed.

“I will approach my healing as I do all other things in my life – with education, commitment, and persistence. I look forward to re-joining the team soon and ask that you respect my privacy at this time,” DeJong said in a statement released by the team.

The outbreak resulted in the postponement of the Cardinals’ scheduled three-game weekend series at Milwaukee as well as a four-game series with Detroit that was supposed to run Monday through Thursday. The Cardinals have played just five games this season and are hoping to return to action Friday hosting the Chicago Cubs.

As of now, the Cardinals who have tested positive have returned home while the rest of the team remains isolated in Milwaukee hotel rooms. Their last game was July 29 at Minnesota.

Mozeliak said Monday that five of the 13 overall members of the Cardinals’ traveling party to test positive were asymptomatic. The other eight had minor symptoms including headaches, coughs, sniffles and low-grade fevers. Mozeliak said none of the eight had required hospitalization.

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