* Daily Herald…
Charging gas taxes based on how many miles people drive instead of how much fuel they burn could pump up revenues to help fix Illinois’ roads and bridges, Democratic candidate for governor J.B. Pritzker told the Daily Herald editorial board.
Called a vehicle miles traveled or VMT tax, it’s an idea worth exploring, the billionaire Hyatt hotel heir said in a Thursday interview where he also pushed for a graduated income tax, but gave few specifics.
“We have to invest in infrastructure — it’s been too many years since we had a capital bill,” said the 52-year old Chicagoan, one of six candidates in the March 20 Democratic primary.
His plan would focus “on rebuilding roads, bridges and waterways and in my view we need statewide broadband internet access,” Pritzker said.
But with more fuel-efficient vehicles, traditional gas tax income is shrinking, Pritzker noted.
“In some states (such as Oregon) they have done tests recently for a VMT tax because we have more and more electric cars on the road, more and more hybrids, and because gas mileage is rising. It’s only fair if you’re on a road and traveling on that road that you should pay your fair share,” he said.
A VMT tax “is something we should look at … we have to careful how it gets implemented and that’s why it should only be a test at this point.”
Local 150 of the Operating Engineers, one of Pritzker’s earliest labor endorsers, is the top proponent of the VMT idea in Illinois.
* From the Republican Governors Association…
Illinois Democrat gubernatorial candidate and billionaire heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune J.B. Pritzker is already on record supporting a bevy of tax increases, including a major hike in the state income tax. Now, he’s proposing yet another tax – and this one could lead to an unprecedented government invasion of privacy.
The Daily Herald reported over the weekend that Pritzker is open to a new gas tax that would require the government to track how many miles people drive. Pritzker says that the tax and government tracking scheme is “an idea worth exploring.”
A similar tax was proposed by Illinois Democrats last year, and was rapidly shelved after “public outrage.” The proposal required a “tracking device to monitor mileage.”
J.B. Pritzker’s willingness to let the government install tracking devices in people’s vehicles underscores just how out of touch the Hyatt heir is with the concerns of voters.