With revenues soaring, Mount Prospect may eliminate vehicle stickers

  • Mount Prospect used its vehicle sticker in 2017 to recognize the village's centennial year. But with other village revenues reaching historic highs, town leaders may eliminate the sticker program and the $45 fee to buy one.

    Mount Prospect used its vehicle sticker in 2017 to recognize the village's centennial year. But with other village revenues reaching historic highs, town leaders may eliminate the sticker program and the $45 fee to buy one. Courtesy of Mount Prospect

 
Updated 4/27/2022 3:16 PM

Mount Prospect vehicle owners might have more space on their windshields next year, along with some extra money in their pockets.

Encouraged by swelling revenues from sales and income taxes, and rosy projections for more of the same, town leaders are talking about retiring the village vehicle sticker -- and the $45 annual fee to buy one.

 

Finance Director Amit Thakkar told the village board and finance commission Tuesday that next year they could jettison the sticker, which rakes in $1.4 million in yearly revenue for the street construction project fund. The plan would be to replace the lost revenue with $500,000 from the home rule sales tax and $1 million from the village's allocation of the state sales tax.

Mayor Paul Hoefert and Trustee John Matuszak welcomed the idea.

"It's a tax by any other name," Hoefert said of the sticker. "Granted, we have lots of different taxes. But this is one that I think is in the craw of a lot of people. And I think they'd love to see it go away."

Matuszak said administrative costs swallow up about one-fifth of the revenue from sticker sales.

"It's a bad value for the taxpayer," he said.

Thakkar said the administrative outlay includes printing and overtime costs.

In making the case for the sticker's elimination Thakkar said the village recorded historic revenues in 2021, reflecting "tremendous growth that we have seen never before."

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Last year, the village collected more than $52 million in revenues it shares with the state, more than $14 million higher than what it collected in 2020. Sales taxes totaled more than $29 million, a 34% increase over 2020 and 20% above 2019.

Mount Prospect is the state's fifth largest community in terms of sales tax collection, ranking behind Chicago, Naperville, Joliet and Schaumburg, Thakkar said.

The state also distributed to the village about $7.1 million in income taxes.

Trustees Terri Gens and Richard Rogers were less willing to see the sticker discontinued, noting that the village is talking about hiring more police officers.

"$1.5 million would buy quite a few policemen," Rogers said, estimating it would pay for seven new hires.

But Thakkar pointed out that the sticker revenue can only be used for streets, and not for general operating expenses.

Before making a final decision, village officials said they want to be sure current revenue trends likely will continue through the year.

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