Transaction Tax


The City of Chicago recently issued nexus guidance and a limited safe harbor for City tax purposes in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s pivotal South Dakota v. Wayfair ruling and the State of Illinois’ statutory economic nexus standards. True to form, the City implemented its new nexus standards by executive action via publication of a “nexus and safe harbor” “information bulletin” on its website (available on the City’s website, here), as opposed to the Chicago City Council more formally (and more appropriately) adopting a new ordinance.

On January 20, 2017, the Illinois Supreme Court issued a taxpayer-friendly opinion in The Hertz Corporation, et al v. The City of Chicago, 2017 IL 119945. At issue was whether the City of Chicago (the “City”) could mandate collection of its Personal Property Lease Transaction Tax (the “Transaction Tax”) from certain car rental agencies located outside its borders based on presumptive, but not actual, use of property within the City.  Hertz Corporation and Enterprise Leasing, Inc. challenged the City’s extraterritorial tax scheme as a violation of both the Illinois Constitution and the U.S. Constitution.  The Illinois Supreme Court struck down the tax, holding that it violated the Illinois Constitution.