New Year = New Fees in Chicago

Chicago real estate owners, renters and visitors should expect some new fees with the new year.
For starters, the cost to own a car in Chicago, to drive it on the Tollway and to park it in the city are all going up.
Chicago vehicle stickers are increasing from $75 to $85 for cars and $120 to $135 for larger vehicles. The fine for not having a sticker in the first place is going up too.
The cost to park at a metered box is increasing, as are the fines for expired meter violations. Parking in a garage in the city or at the airport will cost more, and Tollway drivers will be dishing out between 87 and 100 percent more in tolls come the new year.
Even Metra riders will see a fare increase: In February, one-way trips will be going up almost 16 percent and monthly pass fees will surge 29 percent on average.
It’s even going to cost more to send something. The U.S. Postal service is raising the cost of first-class package service on Jan. 22. Local agencies and municipalities will be passing the increase in costs to its residents.
The fines for some illegal activities are going up, but our upstanding readers don’t need to worry about that.
Staying in the city? The hotel tax is increasing from 3.5 to 4.5 percent.
Owning in the city? Vacant building registration fees are being implemented.
Living in the city? The cost of water and sewer fees are going up this year.
For that last one; consider having a water meter installed to lower your water bills in Chicago. For the rest, that’s just what we have to look forward to in 2012.