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RGA has new ad tying Pritzker to mileage tax

Wednesday, Sep 5, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I’m told this will run on broadcast and cable TV…

State Solutions is an affiliate of the RGA.

* Script…

Buying a car, you pay a sales tax. Fill it up, you pay a gas tax. But how would you feel about paying a tax just to drive?

That’s the plan JB Pritzker is considering.

Charge a new tax per mile you drive in Illinois. Charging 1.5 cents per mile.
Not only would they charge you just for driving, but they might even install a state GPS in your car to keep track of it.

Call your legislators. Tell them to oppose the mileage tax.

I’m kinda wondering how Pritzker is gonna respond to this now two-pronged attack. He’s never allowed any negatives to stand unchallenged before. Suggestions?

…Adding… Pritzker campaign…

This is yet another lie from a desperate, failed governor. JB never proposed a vehicle mileage tax. JB has proposed a fair tax and unlike Bruce Rauner, he will maximize available federal dollars when he’s governor. As JB has said, any proposal to pay for infrastructure updates should be studied with stakeholders across the state and should work for working families.

Of course, a real response is delivered in the same format as the original attack. And this is not a TV ad.


  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:04 pm:


    They could tie all these taxing issues (aw, no pun intended, but that’s pretty tasty so…) is to run an ad with Pritzker speaking…

    The answer is there… are they talented enough to give JB that :30 seconds?

  2. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:06 pm:

    ==but they might even install a state GPS in your car to keep track of it.==
    That would be a bit expensive. And it wouldn’t work since all someone would have to do is unplug it.

  3. - Mama - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:08 pm:

    JB’s peeps needs to counter Rauner’s campaign ads sooner than later.

  4. - thechampaignlife - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:08 pm:

    Pushback could simply be pointing to the failure of Rauner to fix infrastructure, get a capital bill, etc.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:11 pm:

    This is a textbook unforced error.

    You never make a policy thought that requires exacting guidelines.

    Mileage tax… exacting… how much a mile.

    Progressive tax… exacting… what are the parameters.

    These are boxed policy items that force the messaging to be far more exacting than a campaign ever wants to be.

    “Shake up” and “Bring back”… versus… proposing a progressive income tax…

    Unforced errors, fundamental mistakes where you are never off the hook.

  6. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:13 pm:

    RICH JB is just like Rahm…find all kinds of little taxes to nickel/dime the public that you are hardly aware off….keep the peeps in the dark. Thats the dem way.

  7. - DuPage Bard - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:16 pm:

    Time to get creative- What hasn’t Rauner lied about yet?
    Lied about Jeanne ives, lied about his budget, lied about not attacking middle class, lied about Quincy Veterans home, lied about blah blah blah
    Then finish with -Rauner can we believe anything that comes out of this man’s mouth? Ad in their an I’m not in charge clip for good measure

  8. - SaulGoodman - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:17 pm:

    JB: Unlike Bruce Rauner, I refuse to play political games with our state budget and our state infrastructure. When you only have a record of failure, all you can do is lie. Bruce Rauner has only one option - lie about what I want to do instead of run on his horrendous record of letting every aspect of the state fall apart. From roads and bridges to human services, Bruce has made every attempt to tear these things down. When I’m governor, I will build Illinois up again.

  9. - M - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:19 pm:

    “all kinds of little taxes to nickel/dime the public that you are hardly aware off….keep the peeps in the dark.”

    Big Jim Thompson, former governor, was good at that, but he was a republican. FYI: Its not a Democrat thing.

  10. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:20 pm:

    He can’t ignore it. He can admit that he looked into the mileage tax idea and decided against it and instead propose a specific progressive income tax. Put something specific on the table.

  11. - People Over Parties - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:24 pm:

    A mileage tax is incredibly easy to mock by opponents. I question the wisdom of any candidate willing to discuss it, even in a nuanced way. I predict more of “don’t believe Bruce Rauner’s attacks”, but this attack can sting with a lot of voters. He’ll need more than “don’t believe”. I wish I knew what, exactly.

  12. - Flapdoodle - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:31 pm:

    OW: “This is a textbook unforced error. You never make a policy thought that requires exacting guidelines. . . .These are boxed policy items that force the messaging to be far more exacting than a campaign ever wants to be.”
    There’s wisdom here.
    Best response for JB is to play it as a positive, truth telling in contrast to Rauner’s lies. Rauner laughing, another lie — over and over, backed by “I’m not in charge.” Rauner, the man that’s made the mess that JB aims to clean up.

  13. - Earnest - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:31 pm:

    “Rauner and Trump cut taxes on the wealthy while taking away your tax deductions and making you pay more. They can say all they want, but that’s what they did. I’m for a progressive income tax so the wealthy pay their fair share and you’re not paying it for them.”

  14. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:36 pm:

    This is why we can’t have nice things, like good schools and roads.

    Pritzker is getting whacked for a tax he hasn’t even proposed and Rich and others are demanding he specify income tax rates for a graduated tax?

    “Just stand up and put your head in the noose JB, we’ll hold the chair for you.”

  15. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:37 pm:

    Thanks, - Flapdoodle -

    You’re on the path… that Crew needs an overarching and combining these errors, but also try to show wonky thoughtfulness.

    Needs to be smart.

    It’s out there, if their looking to correct these. Can they, will they?

  16. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:38 pm:

    For the Dale Gribbles out there, the mileage tax doesn’t need a gps or hub mounted sensor. Folks could just record their odometer twice a year with a phone app, or get it recorded at a gas station or during an oil change, by a neutral third party with said phone app. It can be like the gas/water main estimation thing.

    A mileage tax is better than a gas tax because it also covers electric vehicles, and people that drive less pay less, while re-filling a near-empty road fund. Maybe that’s how you answer Rauner:

    “Rauner let the highways and bridges fall into decay and unsafe conditions for 4 years. Now we all have to pay for it. JB’s plan will put people to work to restore the roads and make them safe again, while lowering the gas tax.”

  17. - hmmm - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:40 pm:

    –That would be a bit expensive. And it wouldn’t work since all someone would have to do is unplug it–

    that would be tax fraud…

  18. - City Zen - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:42 pm:

    ==When I’m governor, I will build Illinois up again…==

    Mile by mile, apparently.

  19. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:43 pm:

    What SaulGoodman says.

    Bruce Rauner is no conservative, that’s for sure. He purposely caused debt and deficit to explode to unprecedented levels. Job growth was less than under Quinn.

    That is what I want to see as part of Pritzker’s campaign strategy, slamming Rauner for his fiscal damage to the state (as well as the rest of the damage). Pritzker should talk about fiscal responsibility and could even use Minnesota and California as examples of economic and fiscal success, where taxes were raised on the highest incomes.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:44 pm:

    ===get it recorded at a gas station or during an oil change, by a neutral third party with said phone app. It can be like the gas/water main estimation thing.===

    Now we need “certified” places to check mileage? We need apps for seniors, for example, because places that can certify might not be readily available?

    Once that gets all square… what are the rates?

    Business vehicles, delivery trucks, or cabs… or Uber’s… where the business IS miles… they get dinged, but still don’t know how much?

    I’m just confused… since I have no idea where to start like… “how much”… now we’re deep into places, apps, and how businesses that require miles…

    … then there’s the privacy thing… if it’s not a blanket mileage thingy…

  21. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:44 pm:

    ==that would be tax fraud…==

    Yes, like not filling out line 23 Use tax for things bought online. Because the state was so good at enforcing this.

  22. - LXB - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:49 pm:

    ==Now we need “certified” places to check mileage?==

    If it can be done for emissions, it can be done for mileage.

  23. - BC - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:51 pm:

    Suggestion? Change the subject.

    Portray Rauner as corrupt…Cellini lease deals, tollway patronage, business meetings in the mansion, millions made on investments. JB has the money to drive this narrative.

    Rauner’s relentless, disciplined, and easy-to-understand tax attacks have succeeded in putting JB on defensive. You can’t let that happen as the challenger.

    JB is trying nuance (”Rauner wears funny shirts!”) Nuance doesn’t work. Direct, simple attacks do, like: “he promised to shake up Springfield, instead he shook it down.”

  24. - Matts - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:52 pm:

    Not sure about the mileage tax, but how about a “Yank out the toilets tax”. How bout dat, JB?

  25. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:52 pm:

    ===If it can be done for emissions, it can be done for mileage.===

    Is this what the Pritzker Crew is suggesting?

    Can some businesses opt out of being certified?

  26. - Texas Red - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 1:04 pm:

    JB’s lack of details on his tax/revenue plan opens him up to a full barrage of these type of ads.JB=higher taxes.

  27. - thechampaignlife - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 1:05 pm:

    ===what are the rates?===

    $0.01 per mile

    Assuming 34 mpg average, that would be a dollar-for-dollar swap of the gas tax for a per-mile tax. Tax on 1 gallon is $0.34, 1 gallon goes 34 miles, $0.34/34 miles is $0.01/mile.

  28. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 1:07 pm:

    ===Assuming 34 mpg average, that would be a dollar-for-dollar swap of the gas tax for a per-mile tax. Tax on 1 gallon is $0.34, 1 gallon goes 34 miles, $0.34/34 miles is $0.01/mile.===

    Appreciate the math, appreciate the thought.

    Pass that up to Pritzker’s Crew to message.

  29. - Collinsville Kevin - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 1:12 pm:

    JB needs to drop the mileage tax idea like a hot potato. Way too complicated, not to mention any privacy concerns.

  30. - up2now - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 1:19 pm:

    That’s it,I’m moving to Florida. No, wait! I was in Florida just last week and it cost me $12 in tolls just to drive back and forth from Orlando to Cape Canaveral. And $10 to drive back and forth from Orlando to Lake Apopka. It’s expensive to drive.

  31. - Al - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 1:26 pm:

    He could counter with all the jobs and revenue that will be created with legalized Cannabis sales. Leverage Cannabis sales to set up Dcca funded hemp processing coops and textile mills plus bonding a portion for bridge construction.

  32. - City Zen - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 1:30 pm:

    ==$0.01 per mile==

    Don’t forget state/county/muni sales tax.

  33. - Responsa - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 1:30 pm:

    Problem is that things like Rauner “lying” about whether it was his grandfather or great-grandfather who came from Sweden really doesn’t affect me. What he wears doesn’t affect me. A new mileage tax and a possible mile tracker on my car does affect me. This should not a difficult concept to grasp.

  34. - NoGifts - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 1:36 pm:

    He just has to tell people he’s REPLACING the gas tax with a “fair” tax. People who drive old cars with poor gas mileage will pay less, rich people who can afford to buy the new prius, or tesla electric cars will pay their fair share. :)

  35. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 1:39 pm:

    Certified places to check mileage???

    How do you determine miles driven in Illinois vs. other states?

  36. - DuPage - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 1:46 pm:

    If they drop the license plate fees and put in 1.5 cents a mile, I would come out ahead. All the electrics already have mileage data sent in via OnStar or other manufacturer’s equivalent. The all-electrics are the ones that are slipping past paying. The Volts/other similar cars can run by plugging in and/or run on the gas engine. They already have an onboard computer that shows total engine run time, total miles, etc. The miles tax could automatically credit for the gas used based on the gas engine run time. Could all be done automatically by computer. If something “happens” and no data comes in, THEN have a mileage form sent and have the odometer read, written down and signed by “any law enforcement officer”. This was the procedure in other states years back to fight odometer turn-back fraud when selling a used car.

  37. - wondering - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 2:00 pm:

    47th ward, u got it. i am voting for j.b. because of what Rauner has done, voting for Rauner because what j.b. might do is not where I am at. Electrics are coming folks, don’t fault j.b. for thinking ahead. Reporters want a closer race, sells papers

  38. - Wylie Coyote - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 2:33 pm:

    Divorce attorneys can’t wait to get hold of those GPS devices……

  39. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 2:38 pm:

    =JB has proposed a fair tax=

    No he hasn’t. He has only spoken in very broad terms about a change in the tax structure with zero specifics.

  40. - I Miss Bentohs - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 2:53 pm:

    “This is yet another lie from a desperate, failed governor. JB never proposed a vehicle mileage tax.”

    This is more of a lie than what Rauner is saying.

    If this is his argument and it is easy to show that he was floating the idea, then he did a great job of not differentiating his lying, rich guy from the other lying, rich guy.

  41. - Ed Higher - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 3:03 pm:

    If gas consumption goes down thru efficiency and the move to electrics, road maintenance revenues will dry up. Washington State is apparently already testing the idea.

  42. - Nanker Phelge - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 3:08 pm:

    Who do you believe? The Pritzker campaign or State Solutions. JB is more about spending more money than he is about spending less money, so maybe he did propose such a tax. In other words, he is more about raising tax revenues than controlling/reducing spending.

    Or maybe the Republicans are adopting a page out of the LBJ playbook. Make up lies about your opponent, forcing him to be defensive and have to deny the allegation.

  43. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 3:16 pm:

    “How do you determine miles driven in Illinois vs. other states?” Mark this down in the books, I agree with LP.

  44. - Ed Higher - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 3:20 pm:

    “How do you determine miles driven in Illinois vs. other states?” - That’s what the GPS is for. Drive outside the state perimeter, tax is not tallied.

  45. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 3:33 pm:

    “That’s what the GPS is for.” And now we’re back to the problems with privacy.

  46. - OneMan - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 3:52 pm:

    The ‘issue’ isn’t so much the tax as it is how it will be collected.

    Illinois is a state where the residents have a limited trust in government, regardless of whose fault that may be. Then you are going to ask people to trust that the state isn’t going to engage in shenanigans when it comes to their driving habits? Heck Chicago couldn’t do red light cameras without multiple issues with shenanigans.

    Also depending on how it is implemented it makes it that much easier for the next two steps, congestion charges, and general additional taxes for driving into town X, next thing you know you get a complex bill every 6 months for all the places you drove (with the folks who calculate it taking a cut).

    People don’t like the government (or companies) know what they already do know about them, they are not going to respond positively to more information being shared.

  47. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 4:33 pm:

    “The issue isn’t so much the tax as it is how it will be collected.”

    Bingo, OneMan. The “mail in a postcard” or “check it when your emissions are checked” overlook complicated issues like miles driven out of state and the large portion of the state that is not emissions tested.

    Someone who lives in Edwardsville, works in West St. Louis County, and vacations by car just told JB to take a hike.

  48. - The Magnificent Purple Walnut - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 4:55 pm:

    Mr. Pritzker, What exactly IS your tax plan?

  49. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 4:55 pm:

    Look how well this works.
    Democrats trying to stumble through an explanation why it’s fine that everyone get tracked like felons so they can decide what to do about the tax money collected.

    JB has a real problem.
    No one wants this dog of a tax idea.

  50. - thechampaignlife - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 5:46 pm:

    Charge the tax on all miles driven. Allow a deduction for miles driven out of state if they use a GPS tracker. That makes the tracker optional, giving people control over the privacy concern.

  51. - Jibba - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 6:34 pm:

    Just saw both ads on TV, and there was at least one outright lie. They said you would pay both the gas tax and the mileage tax. A clear lie, since the mileage tax is intended to replace the gas tax for electric vehicles, and possibly on gas cars as well.

  52. - Railrat - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 6:46 pm:

    Ask local 150 for the answers this is their idea ! And 150 is running JB

  53. - Potential solution - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 6:55 pm:

    DMV already has most of the data required for my thought; they already make and model of car linked to a specific license plate (and personal info). Here’s an interesting/noninvasive idea that is less invasive.

    1. Gas stations in IL get retrofitted with cameras used at IPass (state can subsidize cost in form of tax credit to gas stations)

    2. Sync cameras at gas stations with respective fuel pumps to identify which license plate filled up with the amount of gas purchased. Maybe even add an option for customers to enter their own license plate info? (While cameras are still recording)

    3. IDOR (or ODOT, DMV) could combine gas purchased for each license plate and divide by rated mpg (usually generous) for the vehicle associated with the license plate (if inaccurate, it could be easily contested with receipts or just show your odometer as proof).

    4. The total amount (probably about $100-180) would be sent to you at the beginning of the year, and you pay it.


  54. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 7:03 pm:

    ==Don’t forget state/county/muni sales tax==

    And if you drink a soda while driving, the tax triples. JB better call Toni and ask her opinion on this.

  55. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 8:07 pm:

    Just saw a Pritzker ad answering Rauner’s lies about his tax plan, but it addressed only Rauner’s lies about Pritzke’s income tax plan. it did not address Rauner’s lies about the mileage tax. Ironically, it ran immediately after a Rauner ad accusing Pritzker of wanting a mileage tax.

    Got to square your messaging away there, J.B.

  56. - SSL - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 9:29 pm:

    The great majority are going to hate this tax. It’s ridiculous to even try it, as it is toxic. Reminds me of the brilliant idea to tax soda in a certain county.

    All this noise for no reason. JB is lucky to have Rauner to run against. He sure doesn’t seem to have a handle on this campaign thing.

    How effective will he be at solving the problems that plague Illinois? Confidence level = low.

  57. - mo - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 6:55 am:

    don’t we pay tax on miles we drive everytime we buy gas in Il. that is taxed to much now?

  58. - mollx - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 4:30 pm:

    The “mileage tax” as suggested by Rauner TV ads (anti-Pritzger) is total BS. Anyone with a brain understands this. I understand (kinda) why other people voted for him (I did not - he reminds me of my ex-husband). Last time Rauner ran for office, he loudly (and expensively) trashed his opponent. Rauner lies about everything; “we’re working on a budget” was a MAJOR lie since he took office. Public service agencies (both State and non-profit) had to cut programs & services over the past 3 years. I know this to be true, because I am disabled - and so is my granddaughter. Rauner stopped funding for the “All Kids” program during his first year in office. My granddaughter was not able to get her wheelchair for almost 8 months - because Rauner chose (and still chooses) to withdraw aid & assistance to (seemingly) anyone who is not a millionaire.

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