Cook County car sales tax may be revamped
By Mike Nolan Sun-Times Media April 15, 2013 5:30PM
Updated: April 15, 2013 6:39PM
Cook County commissioners this week are expected to consider revamping the county’s year-old transfer tax on vehicles purchased outside of a car dealership, Commissioner Liz Gorman, a suburban Republican, said Monday.
Gorman said that although she had called for a repeal of the tax, a compromise reached with board President Toni Preckwinkle will be introduced at Wednesday’s board meeting.
The tax took effect March 1 of last year and applies to person-to-person vehicle sales. The tax has a discount for people who want to sell their car, or simply transfer the title, to a family member.
The county’s rate is assessed based on the age of the vehicle rather than it’s estimated value.
Currently, vehicles that are five years or newer are taxed at $225, while vehicles six- to 10-years old are assessed $200 and vehicles 11 years or older are taxed $175.
Gorman described it as an “overly aggressive tax that punishes low-income earners and young people in particular” who might be buying their first car and have a limited budget to work with.
The amendment to the tax would impose a rate of $225 for vehicles three years old or newer, $175 for vehicles four to eight years old and $90 for vehicles 9 years old or older.
Gorman said the changes would make the tax, “more fair and equitable for person-to-person car buyers.”
Gorman’s office said changes to the tax shouldn’t affect revenue generated by it, projected to bring in $7.8 million annually.
The county board holds its April meeting on Wednesday.