Chicago mayoral candidates are nearly united in promising to bring equity to an overly punitive ticketing policy that has unfairly targeted minority motorists and forced thousands of them into bankruptcy.
Chicago Mayor Candidate Lori Lightfoot is upping the ante with a promise to abolish the city sticker — along with the city clerk’s office that sells them — and replace the revenue with dramatically higher fees on ride-hailing vehicles.
“We should get rid of city stickers. … People hate the city stickers. … We spend so much money trying to collect and police the city sticker program, we are losing money — not gaining money through the city sticker program,” Lightfoot told the Chicago Sun-Times on Friday.
“We’re fighting people. The debt has gone up exponentially. But we’re not collecting the kind of resources that we need to . … The fact that people are losing their jobs, being driven into bankruptcy, losing their driver’s licenses over non-moving violations like city stickers and parking fines — that’s absurd. We can’t keep balancing the budget of the city on the backs of people least able to shoulder that burden.”
Last year, the city sold 1.23 million city stickers and generated $128 million for the repair and maintenance of city streets. Late fees and penalties added another $6.9 million, down from $9.2 million in 2016.
City stickers cost $87.82 for vehicles with a “curb weight” of up to 4,500 pounds and $139.48 for SUVs, trucks and other large vehicles weighing at least 4,501 pounds.