Trailer Fees Reduced, Vehicle Trade-in Cap Eliminated

In a rare victory for Illinois taxpayers, the General Assembly passed legislation that will sharply reduce trailer license fees and restore the full vehicle trade-in credit.

As reported by Capitol News Illinois: The Illinois House passed a bill that would lower small trailer license fees from $118 to $36, which lawmakers said on the House floor Sunday could remedy an issue that has resulted in an uproar of complaints from their constituents.

In 2019, lawmakers raised the fee for licensing a small trailer in Illinois from $18 to $118 as part of Gov. JB Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois capital infrastructure plan. Senate Bill 58 lowers the annual fee to a compromise $36, along with removing a $10,000 cap on sales tax credits on vehicle trade-ins.

Two other proposals were held up in the House Revenue and Finance Committee as lawmakers worked on a compromise. Those bills would have lowered the fee back to the previous cost of $18. But the Transportation for Illinois Coalition – a group of statewide and regional business, organized labor, industry, governmental and nonprofit organizations which lobbied for the capital bill’s passage in 2019 – warned that lowering the fees would take revenue away from state construction projects.

Lawmakers reached a unanimously approved compromise by raising the certificate title fee by $5, from $150 to $155, to replace the revenues lost from the lowered trailer fee. The certificate title fee is only paid when titles are transferred for registered vehicles.

SB 58 also restores the full credit trade-in rates that had been capped at $10,000.