Vehicle sticker scofflaws could face ticket if ordinance approved

Some Homewood residents have found the process of obtaining vehicle stickers and overnight parking ban exemptions more complicated than usual this year. There's a connection to the state's budget woes.

Residents who haven't yet obtained a sticker might be issued a ticket if they don't comply by Aug. 1 if the village approves an ordinance on the agenda. The orginal deadline for purchasing a sticker without penalty was May 31.

The village has taken a more exacting approach to enforcing sticker regulations than in the past. The complicating factor for some residents has been the number of vehicles the village thinks each resident owns. The number doesn't always match the number of vehicles residents actually own.

The village gets vehicle ownership information from the Illinois Secretary of State's office. In some cases this spring, residents have attempted to buy stickers or overnight parking ban exemptions only to discover that the state's records show they own vehicles they no longer have.

A few residents have said the village used to take their word on the number of vehicles they have, but this year, village officials have asked for documentation.

The reason for stronger enforcement of sticker purchases this year is tied to reductions in revenue the village receives from the state. When Homewood officials started the budget review process this year, they were faced with a potential deficit of $400,000.

Finance Director Dennis Bubenik said half that deficit was caused by two factors: a 10 percent cut in state income tax sharing, which cost the village $112,000, and sagging revenues from telecommunication and use taxes, which dropped about $87,000. The rest was an accumulation of smaller factors.

One method of closing the budget gap was to increase the collection rate on annual vehicle stickers, Bubenik said. 

"We increased the vehicle sticker line by $50,000 in anticipation of collecting this missing revenue," Bubenik said. 

In a memo to the board, Village Manager Jim Marino noted there is a discrepancy of more than 8,000 vehicles between the state's records and the village's records.

Marino said a portion of the discrepancy is due to residents not knowing they need to notify the secretary of state's office when they transfer ownership of a vehicle.

If the ordinance passes, the village will send a letter to residents who are not in compliance that will include information about the methods of acceptable documentation for showing which vehicles they no longer own.

Documentation could include personal or dealer bill of sale, charitable donation documentation, salvage title, insurance papers showing the vehicle was totaled, title transfer or registration showing a non-Homewood address.

In other business, the board will consider: 
  • A distribution to local taxing bodies of the remaining balance of the former Central Business District Tax Increment Financing District, about $222,000 total.
  • A $27,850 bid for replacing glass windows in the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District Auditorium that is leased from the village.
  • A measure establishing prevailing wage rates for work done on public works projects.
  • The annual report of the Police and Fire Commission.
  • A driveway and parking variance for a residence at 17643 Dundee Ave.
The board meets at 7:30 p.m. in village hall, 2020 Chestnut Road.

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