Burke’s Law: Chicago alderman cashes in thanks to tax limit he helped enact

Chicago Sun-Times

Ald. Edward M. Burke, the most powerful member of Chicago’s City Council, is also Edward M. Burke, attorney at law. His specialty: getting property-tax cuts and refunds for an A-list of business clients that includes Commonwealth Edison, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Avis Rent a Car and dozens of other companies that do business with City Hall.

As alderman, Burke helped pass a measure in 2002 that sharply limited City Hall’s ability to get in the way when his law clients go before an obscure state agency appealing for refunds of property taxes they thought were too high.

Burke (14th) was hardly the only alderman to vote for the resolution, which passed 47-0 and got so little attention at the time that even the head of the state agency it affects says he was unaware of it until now.

But unlike other members of the City Council, Burke had a financial stake in his vote, a Chicago Sun-Times investigation has found.


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