Cook County ends $80 “bike tax” for 50,000 cyclists

Cook County ends $80 “bike tax” for 50,000 cyclists

The Cook County Board voted unanimously to eliminate the sticker requirement for drivers residing in unincorporated Cook County beginning in 2023. Drivers will save at least $80 per year.

The Cook County Board voted unanimously on September 22 to “permanently” eliminate the wheel tax for drivers residing in unincorporated Cook County, saving 50,000 residents at least $80 in annual vehicle decal fees .

The regulation that repeals the “regressive and unnecessary” tax will save drivers between $80 and $100 a year, depending on the size of their vehicle. Semi-trailer, tractor and bus owners save between $100 and $230, depending on weight.

Cook County Executive Director Toni Preckwinkle said any revenue loss was insignificant compared to how much the elimination would save families, particularly for the “least able-to-pay black and brown Cook County residents” affected in ways disproportionate to pay”.

Preckwinkle and all 17 county board seats are up for re-election on November 8.

In recent years, the bike tax has brought the county an average of $3.6 million a year. Preckwinkle said the annual administrative and compliance cost savings that officers fund, estimated at $500,000 a year, “outweigh their profits.”

According to a report from the Chicago Metropolitan Planning Agency, 159 Chicago-area communities will collect between $5 and $90 in bike taxes beginning in 2021. Oak Lawn, Des Plaines, Lombard, Hoffman Estates, Rosemont and Palatine recently completed his.

While unincorporated drivers in Cook County are the latest to evade sticker regulations, the city of Chicago, the county’s largest city, still requires drivers to pay $90 a year in sticker fees.

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The tax is one of numerous regressive fees imposed on Chicagoans by the city, along with speed cameras, red light cameras, parking tickets, and boat and vehicle towing. Experts have concluded that these fees disproportionately tax minority and low-income drivers, leading to a spiral of debt.

Speed ​​cameras in Chicago alone issued 2.81 million alerts in 2021, sending drivers more tickets in a year than residents of the nation’s third-largest city.

Despite recent modest and temporary reforms to mitigate the impact of fines on low-income Chicagoans, Treasury Department data showed that as of the first half of 2022, the most lucrative 40% of chambers of the city were located on the south side of Chicago.

Supporting studies from the University of Illinois-Chicago and ProPublica found that Black and Hispanic households receive a disproportionate amount of these tickets compared to the rest of the city, resulting in twice as many tickets for speed cameras and stoplights. red than white residents.

The Unincorporated Cook County Bicycle Tax Elimination Ordinance, passed unanimously, will go into effect on June 30, 2023.


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About the Author: Pierre Cohen

A person who has expertise in politics and writes articles to fill his spare time as a hobby.