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Cook County revises vehicle transfer tax

Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Daily Southtown
by Mike Nolan

The Cook County Board on Wednesday approved revisions to the county’s transfer tax on vehicles purchased outside of a dealership.

The tax took effect March 1, 2012, and applies to person-to-person vehicle sales. The rate is assessed based on the age of the vehicle rather than its estimated value.

The tax has a discount for people who want to sell their car, or simply transfer the title, to a family member.

Currently, the tax on vehicles less than 6 years old is $225, for those 6 to 10 years old it’s $200, and it’s $175 for vehicles 11 years or older.

Under the revised rate that takes effect Aug. 1, the tax will be $225 for vehicles fewer than 4 years old, $175 for vehicles 4 to 8 years old and $90 for vehicles more than 8 years old.

Vehicle transfers between immediate family, certain business transactions and transfers to beneficiaries of an estate will continue to have a $25 tax rate, the county said.

Initially, county Commissioner Liz Gorman (R-Orland Park) had pushed for a repeal of the tax but settled for a compromise after board President Toni Preckwinkle was unwilling to give up all the revenue generated by the tax.

Gorman’s office said the changes to the tax shouldn’t affect its revenue by much, estimated at about $7.8 million annually.

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