Evanston aldermen voted Monday to push residents to buy city stickers for their cars a month earlier this year.

The switch is designed to let the city collect a full 12-months worth of city sticker revenue before the current transitional 10-month fiscal year ends in December.

It will also mean that people who waited until the last minute to buy this year’s stickers in January will be pressed to buy another sticker before this year ends.

And, from a personal comfort standpoint, it should let more residents apply new stickers to their cars before the worst of winter weather sets in.

The plan, as described in a city staff memo, involves a little slight-of-hand.

It says the city will announce that the deadline for buying 2012 stickers without a late-payment penalty that adds 50 percent to the cost is Dec. 16, but that it won’t actually impose the penalty until Jan. 5.

For 2011 stickers the penalty date was Jan. 10.

Stickers will go on sale this fall on Oct. 3, a month earlier than they did last year.

The Dec. 16 sticker purchase deadline date was chosen because that’s the last date by which staff could be sure that money collected would be posted to the city’s books by the end of the fiscal year.

Aldermen, who were focused on the selection of a new sticker design, had little reaction to the new deadline scheme, although Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, said she thought it would be “a nightmare.”

The 2011 stickers on their face say they expire Dec. 31.

On the design issue, the aldermen voted to accept a last-minute recommendation from staff.

Instead of selecting one of five non-profits that asked to be featured on the sticker, the staff suggested that logos from all five groups be included in a single 2012 sticker design.

City staff also plan to move ahead with plans to seek City Council approval to purchase license plate recognition cameras for city parking enforcement vehicles later this year. Those could eliminate the need for vehicle stickers.

But they decided to stick with distributing stickers for now, just in case it takes a while to get the camera system up and running.

Sticker prices will remain unchanged for 2012. They start at $75 for a passenger car, with higher rates for recreational vehicles and trucks.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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5 Comments

  1. Interesting City this broke it needs the revenue on the books

    The little bit of extra revenue here is interesting – the city continues to waste our tax dollars, but needs to hit residents a few weeks early so it can close out its books, with a few extra dollars.

    Is this real needed?

    Better yet there is more nonsense to come – they are going to eliminate the stickers all together and go to a license plate reading system.   Sounds a lot like 311 another waste of our tax dollars.  Did the council approve this?

    Will the city data base work or residents get alot of useless tickets?

  2. Catch the scofflaws

    I know people that live in Evanston and haven't purchased a sticker in 5 or more years.  Why not crack down on some of these for revenue?  Seems like people like this should have to pay fines for all the years they didn't purchase a sticker for their vehicle.  It doesn't seem that hard to cross check vehicle registration addresses against zip code and determine who has and hasn't bought a sticker.  Go after those people.  Trying to trick people into buying the stickers early is a shell game that does nothing to address the underlying issue.

  3. I am an evanston resident,

    I am an evanston resident, always pay my wheel tax, never park on public roads and wish the city would find real ways to cut spending rather than trying to trick people into giving them more money.

     

    oh, and I will pay this on the deadline. I have never seen a need for this wheel tax. I pay for it on the year I need it. I have to keep my books straight too.

  4. alder-people

    The city should do away with paid alder-people. Research how much the city could save then.

    If you have been here over forty years like I have you wouldn't mind being a volunteer alder-person. Your service would be because you care!

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