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County board lifts taxes, fees on motorcycle poker runs : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
County board lifts taxes, fees on motorcycle poker runs
by Matt Schury


The Kendall County Board unanimously voted Tuesday to amend the county's ordinance that governs raffles to allow charitable motorcycle poker runs to be tax and fee exempt.

The change complies with a law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn in June that allows the events to be tax-free by order of the county holding the event.

Herb Walton, a resident of Plano whose wife owns the Friendly Tap tavern there, explained that the purpose of a poker run is usually to raise money for charities. He said the Friendly Tap holds them for Make-a-Wish Foundation and Shriner's Hospitals.

Walton explained that poker run participants go to five different taverns and at each tavern the participants draw a card. The person with the highest poker hand at the end of the run wins a small prize.

"Everything that is raised goes to charity," Walton said. "It's always been kind of illegal."

Then last year State Rep. Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville) introduced a bill to make poker runs legal. However, the bill had the unintended consequence of requiring organizations to pay licensing and registration fees, Walton said.

"The Department of Revenue took a stand that we should pay $250 at each stop and they wanted also three percent of the proceeds," Walton said.

An amendment to the bill allowed poker runs to be exempt but it was up to each county to approve the change and issue a license for a maximum of $25. Kendall County Clerk Debbie Gillette said the license for poker runs in Kendall County is $10.

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