The names of businesses involved in the sales tax loophole lawsuit filed against the village of Channahon will be made public, after a court ruling Wednesday.
In August, the Regional Transportation Authority, city of Chicago and Cook County filed suit against the village of Channahon and the city of Kankakee, as well as Inspired Development, a company that helps attract businesses to villages under the existing tax rebate program in the state of Illinois.
The suit alleged the defendants were unfairly benefiting from a sales tax loophole that allows Chicago businesses to route sales through areas with lower sales tax. In September, the village of Lemont joined in the suit.
Releasing the names of Inspired Development's clients was always a requirement within the court process. However, Cook County Judge Nancy Arnold ruled Wednesday that the names of those businesses must additionally be made available to the public.
"There's no difference for the plaintiffs; the difference is some of the names can be revealed," Inspired Development spokesman Chris Robling said.
Eighteen months ago, Inspired Development sued the villages of Channahon and Kankakee to stop them from releasing similar information.
"We had to sue them to get the order from the judge," Robling said.
That order prevented the clients' names from being released to the public, among other things.
This ruling was part of the discovery and applies only to the lawsuit filed in Chicago. The suit in Will County is separate.
"This is a normal, procedural step that accompanies the phase of discovery," Robling said.
In March, Inspired Development requested dismissal of two counts in the lawsuit against the village.