Taxes, Infrastructure Proposals Discussed

Proposals made to increase State gas tax to fund infrastructure needs. Illinois’ motor fuel tax on gasoline is 19 cents per gallon and hasn’t been raised since 1990. All revenue from the tax goes to the Motor Fuel Tax Fund. In Fiscal Year 2017, $1.35 billion in State revenue was collected (approximately the same amount as was raised in FY16).

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently proposed raising the gas tax by 20 to 30 cents per gallon to fund a new Capital program and infrastructure improvements. That would more than double the current 19 cent per gallon State gas tax. IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn has also called for an increase in the State gas tax by at least 15 cents per gallon.

Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday, Dec. 12, didn’t dismiss the possibility of a gas tax hike to help pay for rebuilding the state’s infrastructure, but he also cautioned that a major capital construction program won’t come quickly when his administration begins Jan. 14.

Pritzker also said a new capital program and the revenue to pay for it isn’t something the lame-duck 100thGeneral Assembly should pursue when it returns to Springfield on Jan. 7.

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