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Newspaper Page Text
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TAX OFFICIALS LIABLE TO PRISON TERM BY
TRIFLING WITH THE LAW
Illinois tax laws say tax officials
shall force each taxpayer to swear
how much property he owns and
how much the cash aiue of that
property is. And when a tax official
does not do ths clear, simple little
thing the law aslis him to do, then
that tax official lays himself open to
a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
This law is being read closely in
Chicago today. And yesterday the
state's attorney's offiice suddenly re
called a subpoena served on a mem
ber of the Board of Review. If the
subpoena had been served and the
tax official had gone on the witness
stand it might have helped him to
wiggle into an immunity bath.
No immunity baths for tax officials
will go in the cases now on, accord
ing to State's Att'y Hoyne. He said:
"The tax laws have been violated
for years. Every one knows that.
But the open, flagrant violations are
not so well and generally known. It
has grbwn into a vast system by
which the public treasury is robbed
of tens of millions of dollars a year.
"The best way to stop this prac
tice is to punish those guilty. The
old practice will be unhealthy by the
time we finish the actions now start
ed. Any one who thinks that fits his
case is welcome to the information."
Fred Blocki, the former coal man
now on the Board of Review, came
into Judge Owens' court yesterday
and told the assistant state's attor
neys they could have any records
they wanted from the board's office.
Hoyne's men had planned for a Court
order commanding the Board of Re
view to bring the books Into court.
Blocki pleaded there wasn't any use
in such an order as they would come
across with all books and papers
wanted. Judge Owens listened to a
promise from Blocki that the review
board would "co-operate" with the
State's attorney and then said a court
order would not be entered for the
records unless it became necessary.
The heavy work that swindles the
public .out of millions of tax money
through knocking off assessments of
corporations and millionaires was
done mostly by the assessors and
Board of Review while a lot of small
work in tax-fixing was d6ne by law
yers, clerks and hangers-on at public
offices, according to evidence said to
be in Hoyne's hands.
A. Hess, jeweler, 1353 W. Madison
st., brought the information yester
day that he paid taxes on $8,000 until
"a constable by the name of Mur
phy" came along and showed him
how to swear to a schedule of $500
and dodge taxes on $7,500. For eight
years he has dodged by this trick, "
he admitted to Ass't State's Att'y
Irwin N. Walker.
"I didn't stop to think that I could
be sent to jail," said Hess. "I'll make
an honest schedule from now on and
.pay all of the taxes."
One of the Rhein Bros., mattress
manufacturers, 6011 S. State st, said
"a horseshoer by the name of Col
lins" fixed his taxes. The field as
sessor listed $4,300 of property at
Rhein Bros. They were cancelled on
the tax page with the red ink check
"4." According to testimony of Clerk
Krutchkoff of the assessors' office,
this means Frank Sheridan of the
Board of Assessors cancelled the
taxes. In exchange for having the
taxes fixed, Rhein Bros, had all their
horses shod at Collins' shop, it is
A lawyer for A. Ostrowsky, 1344 S.
Halsted st., said his client did not
schedule his $10,000 worth of mer
chandise because he had debts on all
of it. The field assessor listed
$8,000. It was cancelled by red ink
check "4." Sheridan, again. Att'y
Walker explained to Ostrowsky's law
yer that the law is you pay taxes on
what you've got whether you owe
debts on it or i