April 1, 2019

Much is pleased to announce that we have secured a victory in the Illinois Supreme Court on behalf of MTS Consulting, LLC, a leading provider of local, state, federal and international tax consulting services.

MTS Consulting was one of several defendants in The City of Chicago v. The City of Kankakee. In that case and a companion case, the Regional Transportation Authority, the City of Chicago and Cook County alleged that a number of companies misreported sales as having taken place in the city of Kankakee and the Village of Channahon with help from MTS Consulting and other tax consultants. They also alleged that, as a result, they were owed significant amounts of money because of improperly diverted sales or use tax revenue.

The case, originally filed in 2013 in Cook County circuit court, challenged economic development agreements that the tax consultants entered into with municipalities that provided sales tax rebates to companies that process transactions in the Illinois towns of Kankakee and Channahon. These agreements allowed entities ranging from Fortune 100 companies to small entrepreneurs to achieve tax savings that collectively approached nine figures. The Cook County circuit court dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims based on the failure of the municipalities to state a cognizable claim. The Illinois appellate court reversed.

On March 21, 2019, Justice Mary Jane Theis delivered the Illinois Supreme Court’s opinion, which stated that the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) has exclusive authority over the plaintiffs’ claims against the defendants. In doing so, the state’s high court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court of Cook County. 

Steven P. Blonder, a principal in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution group at Much, argued the case in the Illinois Supreme Court on behalf of the defendants.

“We’re pleased with the Supreme Court’s ruling,” said Blonder. “This decision serves as guidance for other Illinois business entities and reinforces the exclusive jurisdiction of IDOR for addressing tax-related issues. The decision also provides guidance regarding the types of cases that can be brought in a court of law.”

Much principal Joanne A. Sarasin also supported this case.

This article contains material of general interest and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. Under applicable rules of professional conduct, this content may be regarded as attorney advertising.