Court Ruling Mixed Bag for Company, Tax Collectors

CHICAGO (AP) -- An Illinois Supreme Court ruling on a potential tax loophole is a mixed bag for the parties.

A lower court had earlier ruled Hartney Fuel Oil Co wasn't obliged to pay certain sales taxes after moving some activities from suburban Chicago headquarters to Mark. That central Illinois village has no local sales tax.

The state's high court officially posted its opinion online Friday, though it filed the document weeks ago.

The court did agree Hartney should get back $23 million in taxes authorities disgruntled over its move to Mark ordered it to pay. It said the state revenue department's own rules inadvertently let Hartney do what it did.

But in the bigger picture, the court sided with collectors, agreeing state law didn't permit firms to avoid taxes through such maneuvers.


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