Antioch changing way it bills for vehicle tax
By Diana Kuyper For Sun-Times Media January 11, 2014 7:14PM
Mayor Lawrence Hanson
Updated: February 14, 2014 6:03AM
Antioch residents are forewarned that they will see $20 added to their May water and sewer bills. It is not a new fee, but rather the $20 vehicle tax that has been assessed in the past over six billings but will now be billed once annually.
Village Finance Director Joy McCarthy said dividing up the tax into $3.33 billings six times annually is inefficient.
It is especially time-consuming for village workers to send out six separate bills to Antioch residents who have their own well and septic system and, therefore, don’t get a water/sewer bill from the village. Those residents still have been billed $3.33 six times each year for the vehicle tax. Senior citizens, who have their own well/septic, pay only $2 annually for the vehicle tax so they’ve been sent six bills each year — each time for 16 cents.
“Staff finds the current process inefficient and recommends billing the full amount of vehicle tax on one utility bill each year,” said McCarthy. At the same time, residents with well and septic will be billed $20 and seniors will be billed $2.
“The tax generates $60,000 to $70,000 annually and we turn around and use the revenue for road and street maintenance,” said McCarthy.
“It is money well spent,” said Mayor Lawrence Hanson. “This makes sense and will improve staff efficiency.”
A village ordinance requires all households, whether homes are owned or rented, to pay a yearly vehicle tax of $20, covering two vehicles. Residents with one or no vehicles can, with proof, plead their case at village hall.
Although village officials agree billing for the tax once per year makes sense, Trustee Dennis Crosby said he hears nothing but complaints about water bills, “and now we are hitting them again with another lump-sum payment.”
Trustee Jerry Johnson said while the May utility bill may be more, “for the rest of the year, residents will be billed less. We are not charging residents more, we are just billing them once per year. That’s a no-brainer.”
McCarthy said notices of the change in vehicle tax billing will be in the January bills and in the March bills. “We will get the word out to residents in advance in the next two utility bills and through the village newsletter and website. Residents will be forewarned before they get the May bill.”