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Aldermen debate higher fees for heavy cars, ‘pimped out Taurus’

Updated: October 19, 2011 5:07PM

Taurus owners of the world, unite.

That was the tongue-in-cheek rallying cry from Ald. Joe Moore (49th) on Wednesday against the $15 increase in the city sticker fee for large passenger vehicles tied to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2012 budget.

Emanuel wants to raise city stickers fees for heavy vehicles and broaden the umbrella of those required to pay the new, $135 fee to include 184,000 more vehicles.

That would be accomplished by reducing the weight threshold from 4,500 lbs. to 4,000 lbs. Soccer mom’s driving mini-vans who now pay $75 for city stickers would literally be required to pay $60 more.

“As a former owner of a Ford Taurus, I never thought of myself as driving a particularly heavy vehicle,” Moore said.

City Comptroller Amer Ahmad said the new 4,000 lb. cut-off was meant to cover a “new class of vehicles”—including the Dodge Grand Caravan, Lexus 450, Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Nissan X-Terra and Nissan Quest — that have emerged since the sticker fee was last adjusted 10 years ago.

“What about the Taurus?” Moore asked.

Certain makes, models and years of the Taurus also tip the scales at more than 4,000 lbs., Ahmad acknowledged.

“There is a relationship between the weight of a car and the damage it does to the public way. A pimped out Taurus does more damage” to the streets than your average vehicle, Ahmad said.

The comptroller’s choice of words amused Budget Committee Chairman Carrie Austin (34th), who laughed out loud and said, “Pimp my ride.”

Moore joked, “So you knew exactly what I was driving. I didn’t realize that.”

He then said, “Taurus owners of the world, unite!”

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