First cited by Congresswoman Underwood, Oberweis’ Florida residency comes up at Northwest Herald editorial interview
Throughout 2020 beginning at the McHenry County College candidates’ forum on January 22, State Senator Jim Oberweis has taken verbal shots at opponent State Senator Sue Rezin over the fact she and her husband do not live within the boundaries of the 14th congressional district.
Since last week, both a negative TV commercial for Oberweis’ campaign and a campaign mailer have been released. While the commercial only mentioned Rezin did not live in the 14th district, the mailer includes a map and raised questions about how she can serve in Congress while not living in the district.
Separately, last Tuesday night (February 18), Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, the freshman Democrat both Oberweis and Rezin want to face in November, spoke to the Evanston chapter of Indivisible and brought up Oberweis’ wife’s Florida residency and accused him of protecting earnings from taxation since the state of Florida has no state income tax.
So, when the 14th district candidates met with the Northwest Herald editorial board both last Friday and this past Monday, Oberweis’ Florida residence came up this time from Rezin.
The Herald‘s editorial board interviews were recorded on video (link below) and candidates Anthony Catella, Jerry Evans, Catalina Lauf and James Marter were interviewed together on Friday. Both Oberweis and Rezin were interviewed in a joint meeting on Monday. Ted Gradel did not participate in the Herald interviews.
The link below to the article published Tuesday includes the video which is about an hour and 10 minutes, and edited to include the same questions asked of candidates on Friday and Monday.
At the closing statements of Oberweis and Rezin (beginning at the 1:04:08 mark of the video and lasting 5 1/2 minutes), Oberweis went first and Rezin followed with the verbal velvet hammer approach and struck Oberweis in response to his constant reminders she lives four miles south of the district and the recent attacks, particularly the mailer from the past weekend.
A visibly shaken Oberweis responded with the following, transcribed from the video:
Oberweis: “Eric I have to have a short answer to that unfair hit that just occurred there if I may.”
Northwest Herald: “Uh OK, all right, go ahead.”
Oberweis: “While it is true that my wife spends the winters in Florida, we have never moved assets to Florida as was just claimed. In fact, because she has a residence in Florida and claims a Florida residency home exemption, that means I cannot claim a home residency exemption in Illinois which means I pay more taxes in Illinois than I would if she were also a resident of Illinois and we had only an Illinois exemption.
“100% of my income is taxed by Illinois income taxes. So, this idea that moving assets or something like that is absolute shear unfair nonsense and not true.”Transcribed from Jim Oberweis response at Northwest Herald, 2/24/20
Applied Discernment to Oberweis, Rezin & Underwood
ANALYSIS: Jim Oberweis’ response at Monday’s Northwest Herald editorial board interview consisted of half-truths and omissions as the following discernment proves.
The half-truth is with the following quote:
“…because she has a residence in Florida and claims a Florida residency home exemption…”Jim Oberweis
Oberweis’ wife, Julie K. Oberweis, is not the only owner of record for the Florida property, but Jim Oberweis himself is also on the property deed for the Florida property, the 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom condominium unit is valued at over $2 million which the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) identified on October 21 of last year:
Oberweis omitted he is an owner of the Florida property the two purchased in late 2018. The DCCC opposition research from last fall did not overlook this key fact and provided the link to the property appraisal record as proof.
Since now we know the Florida Oberweis property is joint owned, let’s see how much the exemptions they received and their total property tax bill:
So Mr. & Mrs. Oberweis received $50,000 in exemptions which brought their total property tax payment for 2019 at $25,523.34
Since Oberweis’ legal Illinois residency, as defined by his voter registration, is in Sugar Grove, IL in Kane County, here is what Oberweis’ property tax records from the Kane County treasurer’s office says for his most recent (2018) property tax bill.
Oberweis’ wife is not on the property deed for the Sugar Grove home, and the ownership of the Sugar Grove home is his living trust, with him as trustee, which began in the 2004 property tax year. Prior to 2004, the Sugar Grove home was jointly owned between Oberweis and his first wife.
Additionally, Oberweis spoke the truth that he does not take a property tax exemption of any kind for his Sugar Grove home. Kane County property records state the 2010 property tax year was the last time Oberweis took the $6,000 homestead exemption, and since he was 64 in 2010, Oberweis could not take the senior exemption.
Please note, the exemption Mr. & Mrs. Oberweis received on the Florida property was $50,000 opposed to the $6,000 homestead exemption he would have received on the Illinois home.
During the Northwest Herald editorial board interview, Oberweis did share the state and local taxes deductions cap of $10,000 from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 negatively impacted him, though he favors the new tax law. Just on the two properties alone, Oberweis could not write off at least $26,000 in property taxes, plus any other property taxes from other properties he may own personally as well as Illinois state income taxes.
Speaking of Illinois state income taxes, going back to Oberweis’ response to the Herald:
“100% of my income is taxed by Illinois income taxes. So, this idea that moving assets or something like that is absolute sheer unfair nonsense and not true.”Jim Oberweis, transcribed from editorial board interview 2/24/20
While Oberweis must be accepted at his word that Rezin’s claim of moving assets is “nonsense”, it must be noted Oberweis is very careful to state that 100% of his income is taxed under Illinois income taxes. There is no mention of his wife being taxed by Illinois, because as both Rezin and Underwood said, Mrs. Oberweis is a resident of the state of Florida and has been for several years (see the 2014 NBC 5 Mary Lou Ahern videos in the link below as this issue came up six years ago).
But Underwood was careful to not mention “assets” last week:
“He’s [Oberweis] somebody who’s extremely wealthy, but all those earnings are sitting in the state of Florida with his wife, where she has residency, and they don’t pay [state] income taxes,” Underwood said of Oberweis.Lauren Underwood on Jim Oberweis, 2/18/20
Reported by Daily Northwestern 2/19/20
“Earnings”, “assets”, semantics and as this article alluded to U.S. Stem Cell Clinic, LLC, which is an issue, in spite of legality, places Ted Gradel with a level of risk if Gradel were to be the nominee, this split-state property ownership of Jim Oberweis and his wife can be a similar risk, which the Democrats brought up last October, including links to the Florida condominium property records Mr. & Mrs. Oberweis purchased in 2018.
Put another way, the DCCC has already done opposition research on Oberweis, and Underwood started using the opposition research last week in Evanston.
At the Bolingbrook debate on February 10, Oberweis was very clear about the risk of U.S. Stem Cell Clinic, LLC on Ted Gradel, as the queued video from that forum proves:
“Lauren Underwood will take that information and bury him.”Jim Oberweis, on Ted Gradel vulnerability U.S. Stem Cell Clinic, LLC
Given what has already been said by the DCCC back on October 21, and Congresswoman Underwood last week in Evanston, about Oberweis’ property exemption residency in the state of Florida, and his taking advantage of the more generous homestead exemptions under Florida law for Florida property owners, Oberweis could be buried, too, short of releasing his and his wife’s income tax filings for the past 10 years to prove he’s not shielding earnings from Illinois state income taxes.
If Jim Oberweis was asked to produce and release both his and his wife’s federal and his state income tax returns for the past 10 years, would he do it voluntarily, freely and with enough time for vetting?
Would he do it before the primary?
Republican primary voters have less than three weeks to decide if Oberweis’ Florida property ownership carries too much of a risk for the fall showdown with Underwood, along with all the issues facing the 14th congressional district.
- Northwest Herald editorial board interview with video: https://www.nwherald.com/2020/02/24/gop-14-congressional-candidates-make-their-case/ag8pr1c/
- Lauren Underwood speaking to Indivisible Evanston chapter 2/18/20: https://dailynorthwestern.com/2020/02/19/city/underwood-campaigns-for-re-election-support-at-indivisible-evanston-event
- DCCC October 21 press release Oberweis’ Florida properties: https://dccc.org/rooney-retirement-announcement-dccc-urges-florida-resident-jim-oberweis-move-home-run-fl-19
- Lee County, FL, Property Tax Record: https://www.leetc.com/ncp/search_detail.asp?SearchType=RP&TaxYear=2019&Account=204725B4400002503&Option=HISTORY
- Lee County,, FL, Property Appraisal Record: https://www.leepa.org/Display/DisplayParcel.aspx?FolioID=10588693
- NBC News 5 March 2014 Reports on Oberweis’ Staying in Florida prior to U.S. Senate primary and first known Florida property ownership: https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/jim-oberweis-florida-home-raises-residency-questions/74995/
- Jim Oberweis 2018 Property Tax Bill: http://kaneil.devnetwedge.com/TaxBill?property_key=1410451047&source=RE&year=2019
- Jim Oberweis 2010 Property Tax Bill: http://kaneil.devnetwedge.com/TaxBill?property_key=1410451047&source=RE&year=2010