Some businesses in the region located near major highways are receiving notice they owe the state because of those signs. The Illinois Highway Advertising Control Act of 1971 states any signs within 600 feet of a highway are subject to a registration fee with the state. Many businesses are just hearing of this for the first time.
The law has been on the books for over four decades, but at some point, enforcement ceased. The bill states that the signs should be regulated "in areas adjacent to Interstate highways and primary highways should be regulated in order to protect the public investment in such highways, to promote the recreational value of public travel, to preserve natural beauty and to promote the reasonable, orderly and effective display of such signs, displays and devices." Attempts to contact IDOT and local lawmakers for comment on this story were unsuccessful.