Kankakee mayor fires back at lawsuit from Chicago, RTA

August 31, 2011

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The mayor of Kankakee is vowing to fight a lawsuit against the city that she says will hurt the entire state.

Both the City of Chicago and the RTA, Regional Transportation Authority, are suing Kankakee. They say companies that aren't based in Kankakee are diverting paperwork through the town to avoid paying higher sales taxes.

Kankakee Mayor Nina Epstein said Wednesday the town is fighting an uphill battle since Chicago and the RTA have more money to spend on lawsuits than Kankakee. She said Kankakee gets between $3 and $4 million a year in sales taxes from the companies.

"I read with great interest that the RTA said they're not fair. Well, they're legal. If you don't like them, I can understand that," she said.

Epstein wouldn't say which companies are diverting paperwork through Kankakee because that would violate contracts. The city of Channahon is also being sued in the lawsuit along with Kankakee.

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