State: Jimmy John’s founder owes taxes on planes

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Jimmy John Liautaud

SPRINGFIELD — The state of Illinois says two companies that belong to the founder of the Jimmy John’s sandwich chain owe the state more than $1.4 million in taxes on a pair of corporate jets.

Attorneys for Jimmy John Liautaud say the state isn’t properly applying the tax code.

Liautaud has been an outspoken critic of Illinois’ income tax. In 2011 he threatened to move his company’s headquarters form Champaign to Florida over Gov. Pat Quinn’s decision to raise the tax.

According to the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers the state’s case against the two companies is pending before the Illinois Independent Tax Tribunal.

State attorneys argue the jets don’t qualify for a commercial-transportation exemption.

Attorneys for the companies say in court filings they believe the jets are exempt.

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