Kankakee vows to fight RTA lawsuit over businesses, sales taxes

August 31, 2011

By The Associated Press

Kankakee's mayor is vowing to fight lawsuits by the Regional Transportation Authority and the city of Chicago over a program that encourages businesses to come to her community to avoid higher sales taxes in other counties.

Mayor Nina Epstein traveled to Chicago on Wednesday to get the word out about the programs. She says they are vital to her northeastern Illinois community's health. Epstein says they rely on the $3 million to $4 million generated annually to avoid making further budget cuts.

Kankakee and the village of Channahon were sued this week because Chicago and the RTA claim the tax-incentive programs let companies avoid paying higher sales taxes by making purchases in outlying towns where the tax rates are lower.

Epstein says the arrangements are legal.