Illinoisans with boats, off-road vehicles and equipment they haul for work and play hope to get a break next year on licensing the utility trailers they tow thanks to a bill waiting for the governor’s signature.
Trailers that carry items under 3,000 lbs. qualify for the classification.
Rep. Katie Stuart, a Democrat from Edwardsville, introduced the house bill and testified to the House Revenue and Finance Committee about how the $118 rate even impacted the demand for trailers statewide.
The Illinois Secretary of State’s office processed 150,000 fewer trailer license applications last year compared to 2019, she said in a prepared statement.
Republican State Sen. Dale Fowler, of Harrisburg, was chief co-sponsor of the bipartisan measure in the Illinois Senate.
The bill reverses an increase from $18 signed into law by the governor in June 2019.
“When it went up at first, our customers were angry,” explained Mandi Endicott, owner of Harrison’s Sport Shop in Hurst. “This is definitely something people will be happy about.”
Matt Mayberry, co-owner of Greenridge Landscaping in Carbondale, said the change “is not a game-changer,” but it is something he appreciates, especially given that his company has eight trailers requiring licenses.
“It frees up capital that we can put to better use, rather than it disappearing with the license plate sticker prices we’ve been putting up with,” he said.
Stuart said at $118, the current trailer fee is "just not an amount people and small businesses in my district can reasonably afford. I’m happy we were able to come together in a bipartisan way and pass a bill that returns it to something more appropriate.”