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RTA and UAL in flap over alleged "sham" office

Mon, 14 Jan 2013 14:51:58 CST

The Regional Transportation Authority has filed a lawsuit accusing United Airlines and the city of Sycamore of operating a "sham" office. The RTA says United Airlines falsely claimed to buy jet fuel out of an office in Sycamore to avoid paying taxes in Chicago. RTA Chief of Staff Jordan Matyas says the Sycamore office is sparse, with empty tables and no computers, yet his organization estimates a million gallons of jet fuel are purchased each day.

"We need to stop this. The RTA has a fiduciary duty to bring in as much money for the mass transit in Chicago, and we can't allow any company to dodge the proper sales tax."

The RTA filed the suit against Chicago-based United, while deferring formal action against American Airlines, since the company is currently involved in bankruptcy proceedings. The lawsuit, filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, comes about a year and a half after the RTA filed similar lawsuits against far southern suburban municipalities Kankakee and Channahon. According to published reports, United officials deny any wrongdoing. The city of Sycamore has not yet responded to the filing. The sales tax rate in Chicago is 9.5%, compared to 8% in Sycamore.

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