Wheel tax Illinois: Vehicle registration fines, fees to end for unincorporated Cook County

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said wheel tax 'disproportionally' impacts Black, Brown residents

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team via WLS logo
Friday, September 23, 2022 2:26PM
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Vehicle registration fines and fees will end for unincorporated Cook County.

COOK COUNTY, Ill. (WLS) -- Cook County is putting the brakes on some vehicle registration fees.

The county's board of commissioners passed the Wheel Tax Elimination Ordinance Thursday. It permanently ends the county's vehicle registration fines and fees.

This only applies to unincorporated parts of the county.

It takes effect June 30 next year.

"Today, we take another step towards making Cook County one of the most equitable in the nation by eliminating a regressive tax that has been a burden on county residents." said Commissioner Kevin Morrison "It is our duty to be responsible fiscal stewards for our working families. As many municipalities have eliminated their vehicle stickers, unincorporated Cook County residents should not be taxed more than their neighbors. I will continue to look for opportunities to find savings as well as provide effective services for our residents."

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The Cook County Bureau of Finance estimates that around 8,000 staff hours dedicated to administering the tax can be redirected to other services.

In addition, they estimate that the revenue lost from eliminating the tax will be partially offset by savings on administrative costs and new county revenues.

In terms of impact to the County's overall budget, revenues from the wheel tax constitute less than half of a percent of the more than $8 billion budget, county officials said.

"The Cook County Wheel Tax is regressive and unnecessary. And it disproportionally impacts the Black and Brown residents of Cook County who can least afford to pay it," President Toni Preckwinkle said. "The resources we spend enforcing it outweigh its gains, and we're proud that we can give the taxpayers some of their hard-earned money back."