Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Taxation: Chicago thug style

Rent car in suburbs, pay Chicago?
8% TAX Enterprise sues city over attempt to force collection




February 24, 2009
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
How would you like to rent a car in Waukegan or St. Charles, only to be slapped with the 8 percent "transaction tax" that applies to Chicago car rentals?
Brace yourself. With a burgeoning $50.5 million budget gap, Chicago is reaching into suburban pockets. And Enterprise Rent-a-Car has filed a lawsuit challenging the Daley administration's effort to collect the tax from drivers who rent cars in the suburbs.

Enterprise Rent-a-Car has filed a lawsuit challenging the Chicago's effort to collect an 8 percent tax from drivers who rent cars in the suburbs. (AP)
The suit was filed last week in Kane County after an administrative ruling by the city's Department of Revenue that City Hall will "presume" that all car rentals in the six-county area are subject to Chicago's 8 percent transaction tax.
To be excused from the tax, the city is requiring rental companies to photocopy customers' driver's licenses and obtain a sworn statement from customers that they won't be spending more than 50 percent of their time driving in Chicago during the rental period. Without that, the city is demanding the companies collect the tax and turn the money over to the city. Audits will be conducted. At least one is already under way.
Enterprise is asking a judge to declare the city's action unconstitutional.
"Can you imagine if all municipalities did that?" said Stan Kaminski, an attorney for Enterprise. "We feel it's an intrusion of privacy to ask for a copy of the driver's license and a sworn affidavit signed under penalty of perjury on where they might hypothetically use the vehicle."
Jennifer Hoyle, a spokeswoman for the city's Law Department, said the tax applies to rentals outside the city "when the vehicles will primarily be used in Chicago."
"We're not asking them to impose the city's tax on all of their transactions," Hoyle said. "We have provided them with an affidavit for their customers to fill out so they can determine whether or not the tax applies."

1 comment:

David said...

If memory serves, West Virginia attempted to collect fuel taxes from barge tows operating on the WV rivers, even if they did not buy fuel there, based on the theory that they were *using* fuel while in WV territory. They didn't get away with it.