Updated 04/13/11 – 4:19 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) – A Chicago alderman wants to change the pricing for city vehicle stickers to force motorists with big, gas-guzzling vehicles to pay more and give those with more fuel efficient cars a break.
At Wednesday’s City Council meeting, Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (1st) introduced a proposed ordinance that would allow the owners of electric cars to have free city stickers.
As CBS 2′s Dana Kozlov reports, owners of hybrid or electric cars would get a big break on city stickers. Owners of small hybrids would have to pay $25 for a sticker, rather than the current $75 for passenger vehicles, while large hybrids would pay $65.
All other motorists would have to pay more.
Smaller gas-fueled vehicles would have to pay $95 for city stickers.
Vehicles that weigh more than 4,500 pounds — such as vans, SUVs and trucks — would pay $155, an increase of $35 over the current sticker fee for those vehicles. The largest vehicles, those weighing more than 16,000 pounds, would also pay $35 more than they do now: $455.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports
The alderman said his proposal could bring in an extra $21 million a year in city revenue, but he said money is not the only goal.
“Two goals: short term, it’s going to raise $21 million in additional revenue, long-term, hopefully it will help our citizens make wise purchasing decisions when they go to purchase their vehicles,” Moreno said.
Moreno acknowledged there would be opposition to his proposal, but said he’s open to compromise.
“I’m very open to and want to push an exemption to those that need larger vehicles for work; legitimate work purposes, the carpenter … someone that needs a larger vehicle,” Moreno said.
He said larger vehicles create more wear and tear on city streets, take up more parking space on the street and put a bigger strain on the environment, so owners of those vehicles should pay more for a city sticker.
But some drivers weren’t too keen on paying more for a city sticker just because they don’t own a hybrid or electric car.
Chicago motorist Chris Garrity said “that sucks.”
But the sticker shock wouldn’t be quite enough to prompt Garrity to trade in his car for a hybrid or electric car.
“I’ve gotta keep the same car, I can’t just keep buying a new one,” he said.
But SUV owner Mary Frances Brumfield said she might be willing to trade in her current SUV for a hybrid version.
“Yes, definitely. That is something we’ve been wanting to do anyway,” she said.
Moreno said he believes most Chicagoans would agree that owners of gas guzzlers should pay more for a city sticker.
“No one wants to pay more, but I think more Chicagoans are going to look at this and say ‘This makes sense,’” Moreno said.
He pointed out that sticker prices haven’t changed in more than ten years, but the economy was much better back then. It’s a different ballgame now.