Chicago Suburb Considers Hefty Landscaper Fees

Discussion in 'Industry Surveys & Polls' started by Sean Adams, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    Lake Forest, IL — The City of Lake Forest, IL, is considering an ordinance to impose fees on landscapers who work in the community. The fees, which would be based on vehicle weight and could go as high as $3,000 a vehicle, are intended to protect residents from unscrupulous operators.

    On Tuesday, Feb. 21, more than 50 landscapers, attended a meeting at City Hall to review the preliminary draft of an ordinance that would charge landscapers fees between $200 and $600 for a license and from $1,000 to $3,000 per vehicle.

    "We are expecting to receive some more information from the city very shortly," said Patricia Cassady, executive director of the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association in a telephone interview. "We are very concerned about the precedent this might set. We're not aware of any other municipalities charging this level of fees. We are also concerned that the ordinance only targets landscape contractors."
  2. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,654

    Interesting... but I wonder who they consider as being "landscapers"? Would aborists, lawn maintenance, and irrigation all be classified as landscaping and subject to these fees?

    Further more, does imposing hefty fees weed out the unscrupulous operators? Or, will it weed out the small time operator that all along has been having trouble making ends meet? I think the latter. And think about it, the once honest small time op now gets hit with a do-or-die fee, and so he has the option of sinking further into debt, closing shop, or becoming unscrupulous himself by dodging the fees. Yeah, great idea.
  3. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    West Hartford Ct charges a fee or permit for contractors. I'll see if i can find out what it is.

    If done correctly this could be good but i never seen anything done correctly by a town yet.
  4. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,386

    I agree.

    I think they have good intentions but they must follow through with it and enforce the law. Why target just landscapers? How about all the fly by night businesses and moonlighters as well. Like home improvement contractors, roofers, electricians, plumbers, arborists, junk haulers(lord knows there are a ton of them guys), snow plowers,painters, and the list goes on and on. They must enforce the law on the weekends too, not just during the 5 day work week. I thik they would find that the majority of the law evaders would be found on the weekends. I say just make every business have a business license and have a city employee whos only job is to check for this sort of thing.
  5. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,821

    Most towns and municipalities in the Chicago area, require all contractors, to purchase a license, and be bonded and have proof of liability.Most charge 50 to a 100$ a year for the license.And most of their code enforcement offices take enforcement very serious,and have code officers that travel the streets looking for un-licensed contractors.
  6. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,524

    I have serious doubts about even "good intentions". Let's face it, why charge a fee to weed out "unscrupulous operators". A tax is a tax is a tax! Saying we're charging the public money to help them? Don't we already pay over half our salary in taxes anyway. Where the *@!# did that money go?

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