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posted: 6/14/2012 2:45 PM

Elk Grove Township gets sticker shock

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After objections from Elk Grove Township officials, Cook County recently reversed its decision that had barred townships from accepting cash payments for county vehicle stickers.

Ten days into selling county vehicle stickers, the township received notice from Cook County that it no longer could accept cash payments for the stickers. Residents would have had to pay with money orders instead, Elk Grove Township Supervisor Nanci Vanderweel said.

For years, the township has accepted cash from unincorporated residents for vehicle stickers. The township would then write a check to Cook County for the amount of stickers sold. The rule change would have been unnecessarily burdensome to residents, Vanderweel said.

"And this is on top of Cook County doubling the cost of a vehicle sticker," Vanderweel said. "We are dealing with some of the poorest people in the county in our unincorporated areas. They deal in cash. They don't have checking accounts."

Last year, a Cook County vehicle sticker cost $40 for most cars. The cost is now $80. Late fees also have doubled from $100 to $200, Vanderweel said.

Township officials approached Cook County Commissioner Timothy Schneider to advocate on behalf of unincorporated residents because they were "getting nowhere going through the proper chain of command," Vanderweel said.

Cook County last week reversed its decision and will allow townships to continue taking cash.

"This decision was made by bureaucrats, and it took the elected officials to get them to turn it around," Vanderweel said.

Elk Grove Township will be selling county vehicle stickers through July 1.

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