Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Stacey Davis Gates was billed Wednesday for back taxes due to an “unlawful deduction” she took on a home in Indiana.
A St. Joseph County auditor sent Davis Gates a letter showing she owed $1,393 in back taxes “for each year an unlawful deduction was claimed” as well as a $139 civil penalty for a home she owns in South Bend, Indiana. The amount Davis Gates was billed is the maximum allowed by law.
According to local news outlet WGN, Davis Gates, a South Bend native, filed paperwork claiming the Indiana home as her primary residence in 2007 while she was a Chicago Public Schools teacher. She also applied for a homestead tax exemption for the home, and it was granted and has been active since then.
She reportedly claimed the South Bend house as her principal place of residence while owning a home in Chicago, where neither she nor her husband sought a homeowner’s exemption.
The homestead tax deduction is granted to people who own and occupy a home as their principal place of residency. There are civil penalties for failing to notify the auditor of a change in use of the property.
It appears that she does not currently live in the home and that it is occupied by her relatives, according to WGN.
“Davis Gates would pay four times more in Indiana property taxes if she didn’t take the homestead deduction,” the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI), which also investigated the matter, reported.
IPI reported that Davis Gates listed the South Bend home as her former address when she registered to vote in Illinois in 2014.
Furthermore, WGN Investigates previously reported the Illinois Secretary of State’s office said Davis Gates applied for a driver’s license in December 2021, the same time that she ascended the ranks of the Chicago union.
Neither Davis Gates nor the CTU immediately responded for comment on whether she will pay the bill or appeal it.
The billing from Indiana officials comes after another controversy where she defended sending her son to private school, despite her past rhetoric of denouncing school choice as racist.
Davis Gates, who was elected president of CTU in 2022, also serves as executive vice president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers.
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