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Fannie Mae v. Illinois

Fannie Mae v. Illinois

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Published by Steve Dibert

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Published by: Steve Dibert on Jun 27, 2012
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06/27/2012

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTNORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOISWESTERN DIVISION
THE FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGEASSOCIATION (“FANNIE MAE”); THEFEDERAL HOME LOAN MORTGAGECORPORATION (“FREDDIE MAC”); and,THE FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCEAGENCY, in its capacity as an agency of thefederal government and in its capacity asConservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,Plaintiffs,v.BRIAN HAMER, in his official capacity asDirector of the Illinois Department of Revenue;JOHN J. ACARDO, in his official capacity asDeKalb County Clerk and Recorder; KARENA. STUKEL, in her official capacity as WillCounty Recorder; NANCY MCPHERSON, inher official capacity as Winnebago CountyRecorder; DAWN YOUNG, in her officialcapacity as Whiteside County Recorder;DEBBIE GILLETTE, in her official capacity asKendall County Recorder; SANDY WEGMAN,in her official capacity as Kane CountyRecorder,Defendants.))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))Civil Action No.:
COMPLAINT
Plaintiffs Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac (together, the “Enterprises”), and the FederalHousing Finance Agency in its capacity as Conservator of the Enterprises (“FHFA” or the“Conservator”), for their Complaint against the defendants named herein (“Defendants”) allegeas follows:
Case: 3:12-cv-50230 Document #: 1 Filed: 06/22/12 Page 1 of 17 PageID #:1
 
 
-2-
INTRODUCTION
1.
 
This action arises from actions of certain Illinois County officials to imposeliability on the Enterprises for Illinois state and county transfer taxes -- taxes owed at the timethe Enterprises record real estate deeds. Because Congress has expressly exempted theEnterprises and the Conservator from all state and local taxation with a single exception that isinapplicable here, the Enterprises are immune from liability for those taxes. To resolve theactual controversy as to the application of Plaintiffs’ federal statutory immunity, Plaintiffs areentitled to a judgment declaring that they cannot be liable for the taxes Defendants seek tocollect.2.
 
The Enterprises are government-sponsored enterprises established by federalcharters, which imbue them with congressionally-mandated missions and express obligations andprivileges to help further those missions. Congress chartered Fannie Mae to “establish secondarymarket facilities for residential mortgages,” to “provide stability in the secondary market forresidential mortgages,” and to “promote access to mortgage credit throughout the Nation.” 12U.S.C. § 1716. Congress similarly chartered Freddie Mac to “provide stability in the secondarymarket for residential mortgages,” to “provide ongoing assistance to the secondary market forresidential mortgages,” including “mortgages on housing for low- and moderate-incomefamilies” by “increasing the liquidity” of the market, and “to promote access to mortgage creditthroughout the Nation.”
 Id.
§ 1451 note.3.
 
Congress included provisions in the federal statutory charters of Fannie Mae andFreddie Mac, as well as the Conservator’s organic statute, expressly exempting the Enterprisesand the Conservator from “all [state and local] taxation” with the sole exception of direct, non-discriminatory taxes on real estate.
 Id.
§§ 1452(e) (Freddie Mac), 1723a(c)(2) (Fannie Mae);4617(j)(2) (Conservator).
Case: 3:12-cv-50230 Document #: 1 Filed: 06/22/12 Page 2 of 17 PageID #:2
 
 
-3-4.
 
Notwithstanding these federal statutory provisions exempting the Enterprises andthe Conservator from “all [state and local] taxation” other than taxes on their real estate,Defendants Acardo, Stukel, MacPherson, Young, Gillette, and Wegman (the “CountyRecorders”) have indicated that they will impose and collect state and county excise taxes —specifically Illinois State real property transfer taxes pursuant to 35 ILCS 200/31-1
et seq.
 (“State Transfer Tax”) and
 
Illinois County property transfer taxes pursuant to 55 ILCS 5/5-1031(“County Transfer Tax”) (collectively the “Transfer Taxes”) — on transactions transferringproperty to or from the Enterprises.
See
Letter from John J. Acardo, DeKalb County Clerk andRecorder (Apr. 16, 2012) (“County Recorders’ Letter”) (attached as Ex. 1); Memorandum fromDebbie Gillette, Kendall County Clerk & Recorder to Kendall County Title Companies (Jan. 19,2012) (“Kendall County Memorandum”) (attached as Ex. 2); Memorandum from SandyWegman, Kane County Recorder, to Kane County Title Companies (Jan. 3, 2012) (“KaneCounty Memorandum”) (attached as Ex. 3)5.
 
Specifically, County Recorders Acardo, McPherson, Young, and Stukel (the“Demand Defendants”), wrote the Enterprises to demand payment of state and county excisetaxes on completed transactions involving the transfer of property to or from the Enterprises.
See
 Ex. 1. These defendants have stated that they will reject instruments reflecting transactionswhere one of the Enterprises is a party to the property transfer if an exemption is claimed and thestate and county transfer taxes are not paid.
See
 
id.
Moreover, should the Enterprises and/or theConservator not
 promptly
and
voluntarily
render payment for the Transfer Taxes allegedly owedon transactions that involved the transfer of property to or from the Enterprises and that occurredin the preceding five years, Demand Defendants have threatened to compel payment of 
 
all past 
Case: 3:12-cv-50230 Document #: 1 Filed: 06/22/12 Page 3 of 17 PageID #:3

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