Mundelein board rejects self-storage rental fee
A divided Mundelein village board this week rejected a proposal to charge a rental fee for self-storage units in town.
The fee was proposed to have been 5% of the gross rental charge for each unit.
Renters would have to pay the fee each month to storage facility operators. Those operators then would've been responsible for sending payments to the village every three months.
Operators would have been allowed to keep 5% of the payments to offset their administrative burdens and costs of the fee.
Mundelein has five self-storage facilities in town.
The proposal was rejected by a 4-2 vote Monday night. Trustees Kara Lambert, Erich Schwenk, Kerston Russell and Sol Cabachuela voted against the plan. Trustees Tim Wilson and Jenny Ross favored it.
Russell said he initially supported the fee but changed his mind during Monday's debate. Although the fee might be only $6 per month for some units, that amounts to $72 per year, he said.
"At some point, we're taxing people over and over and over again," Russell said. "It's a compounding effect."
Schwenk said he didn't understand why such a fee was needed. He questioned what resources, if any, the village would be providing for the fee.
In response, Village Administrator Eric Guenther noted police officers and public works department crews occasionally are called to self-storage facilities to deal with backed up toilets, auto burglaries and other incidents.
Only a few suburbs have implemented storage rental fees, including Skokie, Morton Grove and North Chicago, Guenther said.
Guenther said the fee is similar to the village's 5% tax on hotel stays.
"The concept isn't new, it's just a new application," he said.
A representative from Extra Space Storage, which has two facilities in Mundelein, spoke against the proposal, too.