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Cook County Judge Calls Use Tax Unconstitutional

  • Oct 14, 2013 | Gail Cole

 Cook County's use tax on non-titled property is not okay.

The Cook County, Illinois, use tax imposed on non-titled tangible goods is unconstitutional, says Cook County Circuit Court Judge Robert Lopez Cepero.

In other words, it is not okay for Cook County to impose a tax on tangible goods purchased outside the county.

The rate of sales tax in Cook County (home of Chicago) is high, and tax savvy purchasers can easily step across county lines to purchase big ticket items with less tax. The use tax, which imposed 0.75% on purchases exceeding $3,500, was an attempt to discourage that. Perhaps it would have, had Judge Cepero not placed a permanent injunction against the tax.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was hoping the use tax could help balance the county’s budget. Now it cannot. For the time being, she is letting the issue drop. The FY 2014 Executive Budget Recommendation, introduced yesterday, contains “no new taxes, fines, or fees….” (Chicago Tribune).

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Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.