Illinois Power Co. v. Mahin, No. 49800

CourtSupreme Court of Illinois
Writing for the CourtGOLDENHERSH; RYAN
Parties, 21 Ill.Dec. 144, 26 P.U.R.4th 596 ILLINOIS POWER COMPANY, Appellant, v. George E. MAHIN, Director of Revenue, et al., Appellees.
Docket NumberNo. 49800
Decision Date26 May 1978

Page 222

381 N.E.2d 222
72 Ill.2d 189, 21 Ill.Dec. 144, 26
P.U.R.4th 596
ILLINOIS POWER COMPANY, Appellant,
v.
George E. MAHIN, Director of Revenue, et al., Appellees.
No. 49800.
Supreme Court of Illinois.
May 26, 1978.
Rehearing Denied Sept. 29, 1978.

[72 Ill.2d 190] William T. Hart, Christopher B. Nelson, and Joseph P. Collins, of Schiff, Hardin & Waite, Chicago, for appellant.

William J. Scott, Atty. Gen., Chicago (Paul J. Bargiel, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Bonny Sutker Barezky, Special Asst. Atty. Gen., of counsel), for appellees.

GOLDENHERSH, Justice.

Defendants, George E. Mahin, Director of Revenue for the Department of Revenue, and Alan J. Dixon, Treasurer of the State of Illinois, appealed from the decree of the [72 Ill.2d 191] circuit court of Macon County entered in plaintiff's action seeking to enjoin the further collection, and for the refund, of taxes assessed by the Department of Revenue, hereafter the Department, and paid by plaintiff under protest. The appellate court reversed (49 Ill.App.3d 713, 7 Ill.Dec. 436, 364 N.E.2d 597), and we allowed plaintiff's petition for leave to appeal.

Involved here are the Gas Revenue Tax Act (Ill.Rev.Stat.1971, ch. 120, par. 467.16 Et seq.) and the Public Utilities Revenue Act (ch. 120, par. 468 Et seq.), which in nearly identical language provide:

" 'Gross receipts' means the consideration received for (gas) (electricity) distributed, supplied, furnished or sold to persons for use or consumption and not for resale and for all services rendered in connection therewith, including (receipts) (amounts received) from minimum service charges, and (shall include) (includes) cash, services and property of every kind or nature, and shall be determined without any deduction on account of the cost

Page 223

[21 Ill.Dec. 145] of the service, product or commodity supplied, the cost of materials used, labor or service costs, or any other expense whatsoever. * * * " Ill.Rev.Stat.1971, ch. 120, pars. 467.16, 468.

Contending that under the foregoing definitions the proceeds of the transactions were taxable, the Department assessed taxes on contributions made by customers to plaintiff in aid of construction, advances received by plaintiff for construction, and sums collected by plaintiff for the rental of equipment and appliances. Under protest, plaintiff paid the taxes thus assessed, and the additional taxes allegedly due for subsequent transactions. Between the dates of December 1, 1972 and May 31, 1977, plaintiff had paid under protest a total of $734,350.32.

The circuit court held that payments received by plaintiff as advances for construction, contributions in aid of construction, and rentals for furnishing or renting equipment or appliances could not be subjected to the taxes, and enjoined defendants "from collecting, assessing [72 Ill.2d 192] or in any manner imposing Public Utilities Revenue Acts or Gas Revenue Act taxes, interest or penalties by reason of funds obtained by the plaintiff as a result of any of the following transactions: (a) electric advances for construction; (b) electric contributions in aid of construction; (c) gas advances for construction; (d) gas contributions in aid of construction; (e) electric equipment rentals; (f) gas equipment rentals; (g) electric appliances rentals; and (h) gas appliance rentals."

The appellate court reversed, holding that under the plain language of the statutes, "gross receipts" included not only the receipts from the sales of gas and electricity but also the consideration received for all services rendered and all contributions, advances and rental payments. 49 Ill.App.3d 713, 718, 7 Ill.Dec. 436, 364 N.E.2d 597.

Plaintiff is a public utility providing electric and gas service to customers in an area of Illinois encompassing approximately 15,000 square miles. It has on file with the Illinois Commerce Commission schedules of rates, and rules and regulations. It appears from the testimony that the contributions in aid of electrical construction were most frequently required by plaintiff in connection with replacement of overhead lines with underground installations. With relation to gas sales and distribution, the advances and contributions were most frequently made in connection with the installation of excess footage to new subdivisions. Although for accounting purposes both contributions and advances in aid of construction are treated as capital and so shown on plaintiff's balance sheet, they are not taken into consideration in fixing the base upon which plaintiff's rate structure is determined. Contributions in aid of construction, whether for electricity or gas, are not refundable. Customer advances for construction are carried as a deferred credit, and if at some point plaintiff determines that an advance is no longer refundable, the item is transferred from the customer advance [72 Ill.2d 193] account to the...

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79 practice notes
  • Price v. Philip Morris, Inc., No. 96236.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • December 15, 2005
    ...Inc. v. Aldridge, 179 Ill.2d 141, 149, 227 Ill.Dec. 753, 688 N.E.2d 90 (1997), quoting Illinois Power Co. v. Mahin, 72 Ill.2d 189, 194, 21 Ill.Dec. 144, 381 N.E.2d 222 (1978). To do so, we examine the language of the statute, which is the most reliable indicator of the legislature's objecti......
  • People v. Miroslava P. (In re Miroslava P.), No. 2–14–1022
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • March 30, 2016
    ...N.E.2d 129 (1972). In interpreting a statute, a court must give the language its plain and ordinary meaning. Illinois Power Co. v. Mahin, 72 Ill.2d 189, 194, 21 Ill.Dec. 144, 381 N.E.2d 222 (1978). If the language of the statute is plain, clear, and unambiguous, the court should give effect......
  • Mattis v. STATE UNIVERSITIES RET. SYSTEM, No. 96012
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • May 20, 2004
    ...tools of statutory construction is necessary. Land, 202 Ill.2d at 421-22, 269 Ill.Dec. 452, 781 N.E.2d 249; Illinois Power Co. v. Mahin, 72 Ill.2d 189, 194, 21 Ill.Dec. 144, 381 N.E.2d 222 (1978). This court has held that the language of pension statutes should be liberally construed in fav......
  • People v. Haron, No. 53472
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • June 4, 1981
    ...to declare that the General Assembly did not mean what the plain language of the statute imports (Illinois Power Co. v. Mahin (1978), 72 Ill.2d 189, 194, 21 Ill.Dec. 144, 381 N.E.2d 222; Western National Bank v. Village of Kildeer (1960), 19 Ill.2d 342, 350, 167 N.E.2d 169), and we decline ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
79 cases
  • Price v. Philip Morris, Inc., No. 96236.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • December 15, 2005
    ...Inc. v. Aldridge, 179 Ill.2d 141, 149, 227 Ill.Dec. 753, 688 N.E.2d 90 (1997), quoting Illinois Power Co. v. Mahin, 72 Ill.2d 189, 194, 21 Ill.Dec. 144, 381 N.E.2d 222 (1978). To do so, we examine the language of the statute, which is the most reliable indicator of the legislature's objecti......
  • People v. Miroslava P. (In re Miroslava P.), No. 2–14–1022
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • March 30, 2016
    ...N.E.2d 129 (1972). In interpreting a statute, a court must give the language its plain and ordinary meaning. Illinois Power Co. v. Mahin, 72 Ill.2d 189, 194, 21 Ill.Dec. 144, 381 N.E.2d 222 (1978). If the language of the statute is plain, clear, and unambiguous, the court should give effect......
  • Mattis v. STATE UNIVERSITIES RET. SYSTEM, No. 96012
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • May 20, 2004
    ...tools of statutory construction is necessary. Land, 202 Ill.2d at 421-22, 269 Ill.Dec. 452, 781 N.E.2d 249; Illinois Power Co. v. Mahin, 72 Ill.2d 189, 194, 21 Ill.Dec. 144, 381 N.E.2d 222 (1978). This court has held that the language of pension statutes should be liberally construed in fav......
  • People v. Haron, No. 53472
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • June 4, 1981
    ...to declare that the General Assembly did not mean what the plain language of the statute imports (Illinois Power Co. v. Mahin (1978), 72 Ill.2d 189, 194, 21 Ill.Dec. 144, 381 N.E.2d 222; Western National Bank v. Village of Kildeer (1960), 19 Ill.2d 342, 350, 167 N.E.2d 169), and we decline ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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