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What You Need To Know About Chicago's Wheel Tax

What You Need To Know About Chicago's Wheel Tax

What is the Chicago Wheel Tax?
Pickup trucks make a significant portion of the cars that are sold around the United States, especially those pickup trucks that are made in the United States. Statistics show that almost 20 percent of cars bought in 2015 were domestically produced pickup trucks. However, some cities are taking a harder line on those vehicles, due to the space they take and the potential environmental impact.

Residents and visitors to Chicago are not allowed to use their pickup trucks on certain roads and boulevards, such as Lake Shore Drive. Even parking a pickup truck in a neighborhood without a proper permit means paying a fine of almost $100. In addition, there are wheel taxes on pickup trucks that are significantly higher than regular cars. Where a regular car’s tax is around $100 per year, the same charge for pickup trucks is slightly more than $200.
Incredibly, the number of people buying new pickup trucks still went up after these policies came into effect, with 2015 seeing a six percent rise in license plates for pickup trucks. When the parking rules regarding pickup trucks first came into effect, the idea was driven by citizens who complained of ugly, beat down pickups on their nice streets.

However, many pickup truck owners now have shiny, new trucks, which are not bringing about any complaints. Also, with more and more people buying pickup trucks for personal use, the amount of support for a ban on pickup truck parking in residential areas is decreasing. The City Clerk in Chicago is hoping to bring an end to the parking ban. According to a manager who works with GMC Sierra, around 90 percent of their sales of pickups involve individual buyers, not companies.

Trucks have also changed in their appearance. While the classic pickup truck is not going away anytime soon, many mid-sized trucks are about the size of a regular SUV. However, these trucks have a lot more space for individuals and families to store items when they go on trips or to work, which makes them favorable when making a buying decision.

Unfortunately, Chicago’s laws are not keeping up with the change in pickup trucks. Even the smallest pickup trucks are subject to the same taxes and regulations as commercial tractors. When Chicago raised the taxes on regular cars by $10, they imposed a $20 increase in taxes on even the smallest trucks. Instead of making things easier for pickup truck owners, they are determined to make even more money off these individual buyers.

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