CHICAGO — The head of the Chicago Teachers Union has claimed a home in South Bend, Indiana as her primary residence for the past sixteen years, according to documents reviewed by WGN Investigates.
Indiana officials tell WGN Investigates they are removing the homestead exemption and may seek back taxes.
In 2007, while she was a Chicago Public Schools teacher, Stacy Davis Gates requested a homestead property tax exemption in her hometown of South Bend that continues to this day.
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Records show she checked a box confirming the house was her principal place of residence. During roughly the same time period she also owned a home in Chicago on which neither she nor her husband sought a homeowner’s exemption.
The Illinois Secretary of State’s office says Stacy Davis Gates didn’t seek a driver’s license here until December 2021, as her public profile and union leadership roles increased.
Neither Davis Gates nor the Chicago Teachers Union responded to requests for comment.
“She’d be paying four times more on her property tax bill if she was paying the right amount so that amounts to thousands of dollars on the life of her home,” said Austin Berg of the Illinois Policy Institute which also reported on the issue.
The right-leaning group frequently criticizes CTU leadership over its spending and policies.
“Members have been asking for an audit of union finances and not getting it despite promises that they would,” said Berg. “And now you have the union president who’s making $289,000 a year not paying her property tax bill. If I was a union member I’d be very concerned about that.”
Davis Gates’ tax trouble comes as CTU and its allies lobby for an increase in the real estate transfer tax for million-dollar homes in Chicago.
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This is the second scandal in as many months for Stacy Davis Gates, who occupies a unique place in city leadership since union money was key to electing fellow CTU leader Brandon Johnson as mayor.
Two months ago, it was revealed that her son didn’t attend public school but a private Catholic high school.