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UNITED STATES v. HYNES

September 4, 1991

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
THOMAS C. HYNES, et al., Defendants


James F. Holderman, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: HOLDERMAN

JAMES F. HOLDERMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 This case concerns an ongoing dispute between the United States of America and Cook County over the imposition of ad valorem property taxes by Cook County on two federal buildings being purchased by the General Services Administration on an installment basis pursuant to the Purchase Contract Program, 40 U.S.C. § 602a.

 On March 26, 1991, the court granted the federal government's motion for summary judgment and denied defendants' motion for summary judgment (hereafter referred to as the "March 26th Opinion"). Defendants have filed a motion to reconsider and alter the judgment. Plaintiff United States filed a motion to alter or amend judgment to include the declaratory and injunctive relief it sought in its complaint.

 DISCUSSION

 In their motion to reconsider, defendants raised for the first time a legal argument that they had not made in the several years since the inception of this case. Since the court did not have the benefit of this argument for its consideration of the parties' cross motions for summary judgment, the court must reevaluate its earlier determination.

 In the March 26th Opinion, this court held unconstitutional the assessment of ad valorem taxes on the Harold Washington Social Security Center and the Federal Archives and Records Center (the "Centers") pursuant to section 19.9a of the Illinois Revenue Act (the "Revenue Act"), Ill. Ann. Stat. ch. 120, para. 500.9a (Smith-Hurd 1991) ("para. 500.9a"). United States v. Hynes, 759 F. Supp. 1303, 1309 (N.D. Ill. 1991). The court held that the Centers were exempt from local ad valorem taxation. Id.

 Section 194.1 provides in pertinent part that:

 
No taxpayer may pay under protest as provided in Section 194 or file an objection as provided in Section 235 on the grounds that the property is exempt from taxation, or otherwise seek a judicial determination as to tax exempt status, except as provided in Section 138 and except as otherwise provided in this Section, and Section 194.2 and Section 235.
 
* * * * * *
 
This Section shall not apply to court proceedings relating to an exemption for 1985 and preceding assessment years. However, an order entered in any such proceeding shall not preclude the necessity of applying for an exemption for 1986 or later assessment years in the manner provided by Section 108 and Section 119 of this Act.

 Ill.Ann.Stat. ch. 120, para. 675.1 (emphasis added). Sections 108 and 119 of the Act, Ill. Ann. Stat. ch. 120, paras. 589, 600, set forth the procedures by which a taxpayer claims a property tax exemption. These procedures include filing an application for an exemption with the board of review, giving timely notice of the application to the municipality, and providing the applicant an opportunity to be heard. Id. The board of review makes an initial decision concerning the application. Id. The board forwards the case to the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) for a final administrative decision on the application. Id.

 The United States does not suggest that it complied with the procedural rules discussed above. Instead, the United States claims that any state procedural laws required for an exemption under para. 500.9a do not apply to the federal government. The United States argues that its claim for exemption is based on the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, and is not based on Illinois law. (Pl.'s Mem. of Points and Authorities, p. 4.) Thus, the United States argues that it ...


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