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Client Success: HMB Obtains Appellate Court Judgment, Sets Important Precedent for Chicago Lease Transaction Tax

12/16/2022
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On November 9, 2022, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District delivered its judgment and opinion affirming Circuit Court of Cook County Judge Demacopoulos’s entry of judgment on the pleadings in favor of PACCAR Leasing Company (“PACCAR”). This case sets important precedent for lessors of personal property in the City of Chicago and the surrounding areas that may be subject to the Chicago Lease Transaction Tax.

HMB’s litigation team, David S. Ruskin and Julianne M. Dailey, and State and Local Tax attorney, David A. Hughes, began their representation of PACCAR in late 2019 when RN Acquisition, LLC ( “RN Acquisition”) filed a complaint alleging breach of contract and seeking a declaratory judgment arising from PACCAR’s alleged failure to pay the Chicago Lease Transaction Tax – a tax that RN Acquisition believed to be PACCAR’s obligation under their Lease Agreement. RN Acquisition argued the Chicago Lease Transaction Tax was either an ad valorum tax or a sales tax which was to be paid by PACCAR under the Lease Agreement and that the Chicago Lease Transaction Tax provisions required PACCAR to collect and pay the tax as the lessor.

HMB successfully obtained judgment on the pleadings on all counts in its favor on September 13, 2021.  RN Acquisition filed a Notice of Appeal before the Illinois Appellate Court, First District on October 10, 2021. Following briefing and oral argument, the Appellate Court found that the Chicago Lease Transaction Tax was neither a sales tax nor an ad valorum tax and that PACCAR was not obligated by law to pay the Chicago Lease Transaction Tax. This case sets important precedent for lessors of personal property in the City of Chicago and the surrounding areas that may be subject to the Chicago Lease Transaction Tax.

Please contact a member of our State & Local Tax team for questions about the Chicago Lease Transaction Tax.

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