IWAN RIES & CO. et al, Appellants,
THE CITY OF CHICAGO et al, Appellees.
JUSTICE KILBRIDE delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Thomas, Garman, Karmeier, and Neville
concurred in the judgment and opinion. Justice Theis
dissented, with opinion.
1 In 2016, defendant the City of Chicago enacted an ordinance
that imposed a municipal tax on units of noncigarette
"other tobacco products" (OTP) purchased in the
City. See Chicago Municipal Code § 3-49 et seq.
(added Mar. 16, 2016). Thereafter, plaintiffs, various
entities with interests in the tobacco-products industry,
filed a complaint seeking declaratory and injunctive relief.
Plaintiffs argued that the City's ordinance was preempted
by section 8-11-6a of the Illinois Municipal Code (65 ILCS
5/8-11-6a (West 2016)), addressing the authority of home rule
units to impose certain taxes, including cigarette and other
tobacco product taxes.
2 After considering the parties' cross-motions for
summary judgment, the Cook County circuit court agreed with
the plaintiffs on the preemption issue and granted their
motion. The appellate court reversed. 2018 IL App (1st)
170875, ¶ 32.
3 For the following reasons, we reverse the judgment of the
appellate court and affirm the judgment of the circuit court.
4 I. BACKGROUND
5 Since 1971, defendant the City of Chicago, has imposed a
municipal tax on the purchase of cigarettes in the city. See,
e.g., Chicago Municipal Code § 3-42-20 (amended
Dec. 14, 2016). More recently, on March 16, 2016, the City
enacted an ordinance that imposed a municipal tax on
purchases of noncigarette "other tobacco products"
for the first time. See Chicago Municipal Code § 3-49
et seq. (added Mar. 16, 2016). The new ordinance
imposes a $1.80 per ounce tax on smoking and smokeless
tobacco, a $0.60 per ounce tax on pipe tobacco, and a $0.20
tax per cigar. Chicago Municipal Code, § 3-49-30 (added
Mar. 16, 2016). This new "other tobacco
products" tax is the subject of the instant appeal and
referred to by the parties as "the OTP
6 On May 26, 2016, several plaintiffs with interests or
involvement in the tobacco-products industry filed a verified
complaint for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief.
Plaintiffs asked the circuit court to invalidate the OTP tax
and enj oin its enforcement.
7 On June 17, 2016, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint. In
that complaint, plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive
relief in three counts: (1) count I sought a declaratory
judgment that the OTP tax violated the applicable home rule
provisions of the Illinois Constitution (Ill. Const. 1970,
art. VII, § 6(g)) and section 8-11-6a of the Illinois
Municipal Code (65 ILCS 5/8-11-6a (West 2016)), (2) count II
sought preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, and (3)
count III sought relief from an alleged "improper
litigation penalty" in the ordinance.
8 After the City answered plaintiffs' complaint,
plaintiffs filed a motion for partial summary judgment.
Plaintiffs argued they were entitled to partial summary
judgment in their favor on counts I and II of their amended
complaint, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief,
respectively. Plaintiffs contended there were no genuine
issues of material fact and they were entitled to judgment as
a matter of law.
9 In relevant part, plaintiffs asserted that the City's
OTP tax was preempted by the plain language of section
8-11-6a of the Illinois Municipal Code (65 ILCS 5/8-11-6a
(West 2016)). Plaintiffs maintained that the legislature
enacted that statute to enable home rule municipalities to
impose taxes on cigarettes or other tobacco products in only
limited circumstances. Specifically, plaintiffs argued that
under the statute the City was not permitted to impose a
municipal tax on other tobacco products unless "such a
tax" existed prior to July 1, 1993. Because the City did
not tax other tobacco products prior to July 1, 1993, and
instead only taxed cigarettes prior to July 1, 1993, the OTP
tax the City enacted in 2016 was invalid.
10 Plaintiffs further asserted that, even if the statutory
language was ambiguous, the City's OTP tax was preempted
by the legislative intent underlying section 8-11-6a.
Specifically, the legislative debates on the provision
demonstrated that the legislature intended to prohibit new
local taxes on cigarette or tobacco products to protect state
tax revenues on tobacco products and limit local taxes on
those same products. The legislature sought to ameliorate the
effects of state tax increases on cigarettes and noncigarette
tobacco products that occurred in 1993 and preserve jobs in
the Illinois tobacco industry by restricting taxes on tobacco
products at the state and local level.
11 The City also filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing
that "the sole issue" was whether section 8-11-6a
preempted the City's home rule authority to impose the
OTP tax. According to the City, the key language of that
provision was that "a home rule municipality that has
not imposed a tax based on the number of units of cigarettes
or tobacco products before July 1, 1993, shall not impose
such a tax after that date." 65 ILCS 5/8-11-6a (West
2016). The City contended that the plain statutory language
"grandfathers" the City's OTP tax because the
City imposed a tax based on the number of units of cigarettes
before July 1, 1993. Therefore, the City was not a
municipality that failed to impose a tax on cigarettes or
other tobacco products before July 1, 1993.
12 Contrary to the plaintiffs' position, the City
asserted that "the distinction drawn by [the statute]
was between municipalities that were grandfathered
and those that were not-not between tobacco taxes
that were grandfathered and those that were not."
(Emphasis in original.) The City alleged that both the plain
language of the provision and its legislative history
authorized the City to impose a home rule tax on any and all
13 On January 20, 2017, after considering full briefing and
arguments on the parties' cross-motions for summary
judgment, the circuit court entered a nine-page opinion and
order. Ultimately, the court found that, as a matter of law,
the plain language of section 8-11-6a of the Illinois
Municipal Code preempted the City's authority to enact
the OTP tax. Accordingly, the court granted plaintiffs'
motion for partial summary judgment and denied the City's
motion for summary judgment. The court later amended its
order to include language pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court
Rule 304(a) (eff. Mar. 8, 2016) to allow an appeal.
14 On appeal, the appellate court reversed the judgment of
the circuit court. After construing the plain language and
legislative history of the statute, the court concluded that,
when "[r]eading section 8-11-6a in its entirety, it
follows that the legislature intended for a home rule
municipality to be able to tax cigarettes or tobacco
products so long as the home rule municipality had 'a
tax' in place on either 'cigarettes or tobacco
products' prior to July 1, 1993. (Emphasis added.) 65
ILCS 5/8-11-6a (West 2016)." (Emphasis in original.)
2018 IL App (1st) 170875, ¶ 31. Thus, the court
concluded that "because the City had enacted a tax on
cigarettes prior to July 1, 1993, it fulfilled the condition
of the statute that 'a tax' exist on either
the number of units of cigarettes or tobacco
products" and its OTP tax was not preempted. (Emphases
in original.) 2018 IL App (1st) 170875, ¶ 32.
15 Plaintiffs filed a petition for leave to appeal. Ill.
S.Ct. R. 315(a) (eff. July 1, 2018). We allowed that
16 II. ANALYSIS
17 This case requires us to consider whether section 8-11-6a
of the Illinois Municipal Code (65 ILCS 5/8-11-6a (West
2016)) preempts the City's home rule authority to enact a
municipal ordinance imposing the OTP tax (Chicago Municipal
Code § 3-49 et seq. (added Mar. 16, 2016)).
Specifically, we must construe section 8-11-6a of the
Illinois Municipal Code to determine whether it precludes the
City from exercising its home rule power to enact the OTP tax
for the first time in 2016.
18 This question originates in the circuit court's ruling
on cross-motions for summary judgment. Summary judgment may
be granted when the pleadings, depositions, admissions, and
affidavits, viewed in the light most favorable to the
nonmovant, fail to establish that a genuine issue of fact
exists, thereby entitling the moving party to judgment as a
matter of law. 735 ILCS 5/2-1005(c) (West 2016); Village
of Bartonville v. Lopez, 2017 IL 120643, ¶ 34.
When, as here, parties file cross-motions for summary
judgment, they mutually agree that there are no genuine
issues of material fact and that the case may be resolved as
a matter of law. Jones v. Municipal Employees'
Annuity & Benefit Fund, 2016 IL 119618, ¶ 26.
Because this case involves the circuit court's ruling on
cross-motions for summary judgment and requires statutory
construction, our review is de novo. Oswald v.
Hamer, 2018 IL 122203, ¶ 9.
19 When construing a statute, the goal of this court is to
ascertain and give effect to the intent of the legislature.
The most reliable indicator of the legislature's intent
is the plain and ordinary meaning of the statutory language.
Cassidy v. China Vitamins, LLC, 2018 IL 122873,
¶ 17. This court reviews the statute as a whole,
construing words and phrases in the context of the entire
statute and not in isolation. Oswald, 2018 IL
122203, ¶ 10. We also remain mindful of the subject ...