In an effort to make up for a $10 million budget deficit, the city of Rockford is considering increasing fees for nuisance businesses.

It's a no-win situation.  The state of Illinois is broke, so there is no extra money to give cities like ours. That means Rockford ends up with a budget shortfall. For 2018, it's $10 million.

How do they make up for this huge deficit? With increased taxes and fees, of course.

The Rockford City Council has created a committee to figure out ways to balance the budget. They have presented several ideas.

One of the possibilities is to raise license fees on "nuisance businesses." This would include pawn shops / secondhand stores and bikini bars / lingerie shops.

According to, here are the proposed increases.

"Pawnbrokers are currently paying a $63 annual fee. Increasing the fee 3,868 percent to $2,500, which is expected to generate an additional estimated $85,000 a year for the city."

"Bikini bars and lingerie shops now pay a $1,600 annual license fee would also pay the $2,500 licensing fee under the proposal. In addition, such businesses would pay $100 to register each dancer.".

The targeted businesses aren't happy. Especially, the pawn store owners.

The final decision on the possible fees will be determined by the city council.

Though I understand they are running "risky" businesses, but they should still be treated fairly. If the city doesn't want these types of places, don't allow it in the first place. Don't approve them and then try to run them out of business.

The government needs to look carefully at how they are spending our hard-earned tax dollars.

What do you think about the possible increases?

Video: Interview with Jeff Dunham



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