What Chicago’s Budget Means For Drivers In 2012
That’s what the vote was for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s rookie year budget on Wednesday.
But what in the budget lies in store for Chicago drivers?
Well, mainly fee and fine increases, but here’s a breakdown on what local motorists will be facing in the upcoming year.
City Sticker Fees Going Up
As reported over a week ago, most vehicles will see a $10 increase for their city sticker in June, which bumps up their annual cost from $75 to $85.
Larger passenger vehicles (weighing over 4500 lbs.) will get a $15 bump from $120 to $135. The cost for pickup truck and smaller truck city stickers jump $20 to $200 and larger trucks will pay a $450 city sticker fee next year–a $30 increase.
But it is in enforcement of city sticker violations where drivers are really going to go into sticker shock.
The fine for “failure to display” a Chicago city sticker is now $120, but will go up to $200 in 2012. But if you own a really big truck, that fine is $500!
Drivers who don’t get their city sticker in time, will also be hit with a late fee of $60–a $20 increase from 2012.
New Parking Tax
Commuters or visitors downtown will now have to pay an additional $2 per day when they pull their car into a parking garage or lot.
While Emanuel says the fee will help decrease traffic congestion, the new fee is more about bringing in cash than actually accomplishing it’s touted goal.
Increased Parking Ticket Fines
Fines for expired meter violations are currently $50 city wide. But starting next year, drivers coming back to their parking meter in the Central Business District will have to pay $10 more than everywhere else in the city.
And make sure you slap that residential parking permit guest pass on your windshield when visiting friends in RPP zones around the city. Fines for RPP violations will go from $60 to $75.
Of course, as discussed above, fines for not having your city sticker will cost you $200 next year.
Other Fines of Interest
One curious fee increase is the fine for tampering with a parking meter pay box.
If you’re stupid enough to attempt damaging a pay box and even more moronic that you get caught in the act, the mayor wants the fine to rise from $500 to $750.
Despite years of loathing the parking meter lease deal, this site suggests adding a $250 imbecile tax on top of the $750 fine for being brain dead enough to try damaging private property.
Also, don’t get pinched while driving with a revoked or suspended drivers license in 2012. The fine is doubling from $500 to $1000.
Here’s some free advice. Don’t drive without a valid license!
And, if you get arrested while driving and your car is impounded, the fee will double from $1000 to $2000 or $3000 if you’re arrested within 500 feet of a school. OUCH!
Advertising on Parking Meter Pay Boxes
Perhaps the most interesting and ultimately tacky ideas to come out of new budget could be the idea of selling advertising on the sides of the 4700 parking meter pay boxes (and other street objects like trash compactors) that dot streets throughout the city.
The city expects to bring in $25 million for ads on pay boxes.
Oh sure. Advertisers are just clamoring to put their message on the sides of parking meter boxes.
BTW, $25 mil breaks down to advertising fees of over $5000 per pay box.