SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Susan Clause is no quitter.
For 16 years, she and her husband, Stephen Briggs, have owned and operated a teacher supply store, Ergadoo, in Springfield.
Why? They say the state of Illinois has made it too difficult to operate.
It’s a painful decision for the couple who founded the store 16 years ago.
After all, they aren’t quitters by nature. They fought to keep the doors open when Clause was fighting leukemia and Briggs was battling prostate cancer – at the same time.
And there have been tough days when they have found themselves unloading truckloads of merchandise by themselves or wading through reams of paperwork.
But now they are facing an obstacle they just don’t want to deal with: the Illinois Department of Revenue.
Here how Clause explained it:
“Five years ago, we received a sales tax audit from the state, and they said we were doing things just fine. And then we were audited again this year. And we were told we were doing things wrong. We can’t operate if we don’t know what the rules are.”
For 10 days last month, a state auditor camped out at their store – sitting at one of those tiny little children’s tables – reviewing three months of receipts.
And that’s where the problem began.