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The Boston Globe

Business

Suit alleges United dodges tax on fuel

Rural office in town with lower levy called a fake

CHICAGO — A lawsuit has been filed against United Airlines, alleging it falsely claims to buy jet fuel in rural Illinois in order to skirt tens of millions of dollars in sales taxes. The case hinges on whether a transportation agency can prove the monumental purchasing task could not have been done from the airline’s tiny office 70 miles from Chicago.

Throughout the lawsuit — which alleges the office does not have a computer and is staffed only by one part-time employee — the Regional Transportation Authority’s argument boils down to this: United’s contention that it buys fuel in Sycamore is absurd.

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