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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

City sticking it to the pawns again

The biggest hit in Chicago and many suburbs will result from higher water and sewer rates that go into effect Jan. 1.
It’s a 15 percent rate increase in water rates for city property owners and suburbs that buy city water. Sewer charges, added to the bimonthly bill paid by city property owners, will be 92 percent of the water tab, an increase of 3 percentage points.
Two companies are now staging trials of speed cameras near parks and schools under a program Emanuel touted as a safety initiative.
After a trial period, the owners of vehicles photographed going 6 to 10 mph above the limit will be fined $35. Those caught topping the speed limit by more than 10 mph will get hit with $100 fines.
City homeowners also will see an increase in property taxes, on average $28,  because of a boost in the Chicago Public Schools levy to raise an extra $41 million
Parking meter rates will rise in January for the fifth year in a row as a result of a much-maligned 75-year lease launched by former Mayor Richard M. Daley. The hourly rate downtown will be $6.50, a 75-cent increase. In business areas near the Loop, it will be $4 or 50 cents more. In neighborhoods, the rate will be $2, a quarter-per-hour hike.

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