Crystal Lake to discontinue vehicle stickers starting in July

The city joins many other McHenry County towns in dropping the required stickers

The new Crystal Lake vehicle permit sticker People in a car on Thursday, June 1, 2023. Crystal Lake is one of the few towns in McHenry County that require them.

Crystal Lake residents no longer will need to buy an annual vehicle sticker starting July 1.

The city decided to do away with the stickers because compliance declined and reduced the revenue generated. The stickers were not popular with residents, and it became too burdensome and costly for staff to administer, Crystal Lake Director of Finance Jodie Hartman said.

“Eliminating the stickers puts a little money back in our residents’ pockets each year,” she said in an email to the Northwest Herald.

Sticker revenue generated about $148,000 last year and brought in an income of about $102,000 after expenses, Hartman said. Sticker revenue would go into the city’s capital fund to help offset costs for annual road improvement programs. Without the sticker revenue, the city will do an annual transfer from the general fund into the capital fund for road improvements, Hartman said.

Crystal Lake residents still will be able to park for free at the Three Oaks Recreation Area with proof of residency. Driver’s licenses or state IDs will be scanned upon entry, according to the city of Crystal Lake. Nonresidents pay $5 to park at the recreation area.

Before, residents had until July 15 to buy and display their annual stickers on cars and motorcycles, which cost $10 and $1 for residents 65 and older, respectively.

Many McHenry County towns have done away with their vehicle stickers including McHenry, Huntley and Richmond. Woodstock never had a vehicle sticker program, while Harvard still does for its downtown parking lots.

On the March primary ballot, residents in Marengo voted in favor of a local sales tax increase, with the promise that vehicles stickers will be discontinued in exchange.

Crystal Lake residents with questions regarding vehicle stickers are asked to call the city’s finance department at 815-459-2020.

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