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Happy New Year Chicagoans! There's Lots Of New Fees, Hikes, and Laws Going Into Effect. Let's Examine Some.

Each year we ring in a new year in the "City That Works" it's like we get a second Christmas. 

Imagine your parents are undressing the Christmas tree, packing up the ornaments, re-spooling the tinsel and lights. 

Just when they're ready to yank the tree's base from its holder (if you have a fake tree get it together man), there's a couple presents sitting there, hidden between the holder and the apron. Still wrapped. Untouched.

You're overcome with joy as they yell to you that you have a couple of presents left to still open. It's almost better than the first time.

That is until you peel back the wrapping paper and open the box and there's just a nice formerly-steaming, but now room temperature, pile of shit in there for you.

This year's gift was basically the same fuckin tie we got for fathers day, and our birthday, and last Christmas. 

Another fucking gas tax. - Chicago leaders are using another gas tax hike to help fill a budget hole driven by pensions. Total gas taxes and fees are closing in on $1 per gallon.

The tax hike increases the local Chicago gas tax to 8 cents starting Jan. 1. On an average $2.53 gallon of gas, $0.91, or 36%, of the price is just taxes and fees, according to Illinois Policy Institute research. Put another way, the total effective tax burden on the raw price of gas ($1.82 per gallon) – including federal, state and local taxes – is 50%.


(What are they going to do when more and more people go electric?)

Chicago drivers are also burdened by a 6-cent Cook County gas tax, state gas tax and federal gas tax – a total of nine different taxes and fees on every gallon of gas.

For Chicago drivers, this is the third time in the past 18 months the gas tax has been raised. On July 1, 2019, the state doubled the gas tax to 38 cents from 19 cents. On July 1, 2020, the state gas tax increased by 0.7 cents because the 2019 law imposed an automatic, annual inflation-based increase. That legislation signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in 2019 gave Chicago and certain Illinois counties the ability to raise the gas tax on their own.

But the spirit of gift-giving didn't stop there. Oh no, we're also getting whacked again from Mayor Daley's gift that never stops giving. The fucking parking meters - 

Starting Saturday, you may have noticed price increases at some meter pay boxes. Meters that were $2 per hour are now $2.25. The city is also adding 96 meter boxes to once-free parking zones.

Rates in the $4.50 and $7 zones won’t change.

Just what we fucking need. 96 more metered parking zones in once free areas. 

Does anybody know of a single block of sidewalk downtown that isn't metered anymore? 

And have you ever accidentally parked in one of those $7/hr zones? Loaded up your ParkChicago app and plugged in 2 hours without looking at the receipt? Makes you instantly regret owning a car and living in the city.

There's also been another crackdown on the speed trap cameras that I thought the courts ruled were unconstitutional 5 or 6 times but apparently not?

Blockclub Chicago -  Starting March 1, if a speed camera catches you going 6 mph above the speed limit, you’ll get a $35 ticket in the mail. Lightfoot’s office said the controversial plan was about public safety, but critics said it was a regressive way to boost revenue as the city tries to close a $1.2 billion budget gap.

Fines are $35 for those caught going 6-10 mph over the speed limit and will remain $100 for those going 11 miles or more over the limit.

Can you guess what this map is of?

If you guessed "a map of the homicides and violent crimes from the past weekend in Chicago" you'd be close, but incorrect. 

It's actually a map of all the speed traps and red-light cameras in the city as of January 4, 2020.

Look at that. 

It looks like the map on Grand Theft Auto except that instead of missions, pickups, or scores, those markers ding you anytime you drive by them. 

There's also a "cloud tax" hike for the tech sector if that applies to you kicking in-

There will also be a 1.75 percentage point increase to the cloud tax which is applied to computer leases of cloud software and cloud infrastructure.

Giphy Images.