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Finance panel backs new fees

Saturday, February 10, 2007
Chicago Tribune

COOK COUNTY -- Off-track bettors and companies accessing real-estate assessment data would be among those paying new fees recommended Friday by the Finance Committee of the Cook County Board.

The proposals will go to the full County Board for approval as it tries to avoid some service cuts proposed in Board President Todd Stroger's budget.
New and increased fees recommended Friday for approval would generate about $3.8 million this year.

The proposed new fees include a $1 entrance charge at the six off-track betting facilities in Cook County and a $500 impoundment fee for vehicles used during the commission of certain crimes and seized by the sheriff.

The county also would impose a $100-a-year charge on businesses in unincorporated Cook County to have their burglar alarms hardwired into the sheriff's system. Also, title companies and other businesses that access the assessor's database for bulk information would pay an annual fee of $30,000.

The committee also recommended increasing environmental impact fees. Board members rejected taxes on ammunition and sport-utility vehicles.

Commissioners are expected to meet Feb. 20 to discuss budget issues, and Feb. 22 to vote on the spending plan.



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