Schaumburg Flyers' business license revoked
The state of Illinois is joining the village of Schaumburg in barring the Schaumburg Flyers from playing at Alexian Field until its debts are paid.
The Illinois Department of Revenue has posted a sign at the stadium revoking the baseball team's certificate of business registration.
But according to the Flyers' Managing Partner Rich Ehrenreich, the move is a result of an easily fixed miscommunication involving the team's payroll contractors.
Ehrenreich said the club contracts outside companies to do its payroll, and those firms filed the team's payroll taxes under their own business ID numbers rather than the team's.
He first learned of the sign at Alexian Field late Thursday and said people are working to resolve the situation with the Department of Revenue by Monday at the latest.
Department of Revenue spokeswoman Sue Hofer said she couldn't talk about any specific case, but indicated such action generally is taken when a business fails to remit either its sales taxes or its employees' withheld income taxes.
The goal is not to shut down businesses but to work with them to ensure the state collects the taxes it's due, Hofer said. Revoking a business license can be either a temporary or permanent measure, depending how quickly the business complies.
The state's action temporarily prohibits the team from conducting business or selling any "tangible personal property." But Ehrenreich said the issue has no impact on his efforts to sell the team this winter in order to pay more than $920,000 in overdue rent and other fees for which Schaumburg and Schaumburg Park District have sued.
The parties have agreed that if the team isn't sold and its debts repaid by the next court date of Feb. 24, the Flyers will be evicted from Alexian Field. The village and park district would then be free to lease the stadium they co-own to another team.
Schaumburg Village Manager Ken Fritz said that while revocation of the Flyers' business license is an unfortunate situation, it's not likely the biggest issue facing the team right now.
"It's another thing out there that we'd rather not see, but it probably doesn't have a material impact on anything," Fritz said.
Ehrenreich has intended to sell the 12-year-old Schaumburg Flyers since 2009, when he announced his partnership with "Field of Dreams" star Kevin Costner to start up the Zion-based Lake County Fielders in the same league.
Even as the state is temporarily barring the Flyers from doing business over a payment issue, Ehrenreich claims the Flyers have been waiting two years for payment from the state for a group outing at the ballpark.
"We're in line with all the other creditors," he said. "It goes both ways."