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The almost non-issue that won’t go away

Monday, Sep 24, 2018

* Illinois News Network

Car enthusiasts from around Illinois and beyond would rather see cuts and reprioritized spending than another tax, like a possible vehicle miles traveled tax, something they see as a nonstarter.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is doubling down on claiming his chief opponent, J.B. Pritzker, wants to tax vehicles by the mile. Pritzker denied he has a plan to do so during Thursday’s NBC 5 debate, but he said at a forum last month he’s open to all ideas to find more money for roads.

Reports have said Illinois’ roads need billions more a year than the state is spending now just to keep up on upkeep.

Dale Sterns from Carbondale was showing his 1955 Ford F150 in Springfield at a car show this weekend. Asked what he thinks about new taxes for roads, he said “I think: Where do we start cutting?”

OK, Dale, how about we start the cutting with your car show?

The Route 66 Festival is sponsored by… Illinois Office of Tourism

Or, perhaps, we can send fewer Road Fund dollars to Carbondale.

* Anyway, this whole thing is a bit silly. Pritzker merely said he’s open to considering a pilot program. But, voters do not do nuance and so the governor has pounced

Rauner’s ad says “Pritzker’s tax plan” includes a “new tax per mile you drive with government tracking device.”

But Pritzker hasn’t endorsed any plan as of yet when it comes to measuring and taxing miles driven, and Rauner in a televised debate last week appeared to back away from directly claiming otherwise. His ad, however, is still running.

Pritzker has simply said it’s an idea worth exploring as other states test the concept, given the erosion in collections from the gas tax long relied on to pay for road upkeep. And he has said nothing about a tracking device, which is only one of several options employed in mileage tracking tests conducted in other states.

We rate Rauner’s claim False.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

21 Comments
  1. - Northsider - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:09 am:

    “We rate Rauner’s claim False.”

    Says it all.


  2. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:12 am:

    –We rate Rauner’s claim False.–

    The obvious title choice, if anyone ever writes a book on the Rauner administration.


  3. - Roman - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:15 am:

    Someone should tell Dale that them latte drinkers in their fancy Teslas are using the roads for free while he pays a motor fuel tax to drive his Ford.


  4. - Anon0091 - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:17 am:

    “The obvious title choice, if anyone ever writes a book on the Rauner administration.”

    Not sure anyone is going to want to write a book about this train wreck. Think case study. And yea, since Rod didn’t work and they’ve got nothing else, this is a good distraction from Madigan, Madigan, Madigan. Now it’s Madigan, Madigan, Mileage Tax, Madigan.


  5. - Anon221 - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:19 am:

    Rauner has “Quinned” himself. Voters may not do nuance, but Rauner’s stack of lies is growing, and he keeps fertilizes them himself. Not every voter will be content to be a mushroom in Rauner’s quest as Illinois’s “savior”.


  6. - Annonin' - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:23 am:

    Capt Fax rather cuttin’s road funds in Cdale maybe we cut the $$$ that allows Dale to drive or trailer his car to SPI for the Route 66 Mother Road? 150+ miles of partially gravel roads would not help the paint job on that ‘55 F150.
    Surprised the IPI fake newers did not folo up their in depth interviews (not)with a query on what cuts should be made.


  7. - Perrid - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:32 am:

    I really don’t see why everyone is upset about this tax in particular. The more you drive, the more wear and tear on roads and the more you pay. I’m fie with the idea. I’m less OK with a GPS tracker constantly telling the government where I am, just on principle, but I’m not sure that’s a deal breaker, especially if there are guarantees about how the limitations on how the government can use said data.


  8. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:33 am:

    Illinois News Network doin what they do best… spinning wheels rather thsn truth.


  9. - Steve Rogers - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:34 am:

    I’m curious to know what Mr. Sterns thoughts would be on cutting funding to SIUC just to see what impact the closing of the region’s cultural, educational, and economic hub would have.


  10. - A Jack - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:36 am:

    Dale likely has antique vehicle plates on that truck which cost very little compared to what people pay for a normal vehicle registration.


  11. - Anon221 - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 10:38 am:

    Perrid- To me this is much more layered and complicated than people think. It’s not just tracking the mileage and use of us common folk. How do you also capture people passing through or visiting in Illinois? Private sector and government vehicle use? Emergency responder or law enforcement use? Will some sectors get a pass or reduced rate? What about school busses? A VMT is very complicated and, if implemented, needs to be fair for all that use Illinois roads, not just a few sectors of users.


  12. - Deadbeat Conservative - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 11:09 am:

    ==Dale likely has antique vehicle plates on that truck which cost very little compared to what people pay for a normal vehicle registration==

    Aren’t antique plates based on mileage/ - under 9k/year to be eligible.


  13. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 11:24 am:

    – How do you also capture people passing through or visiting in Illinois? –

    With a national vehicle miles traveled tax, like the one Republicans are pushing in DC.

    https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/congress/article204003334.html

    Wonder when the IPI and its news affiliate might ask an Illinois GOP congress type about a national VMT with the same fervor they’ve shown here.


  14. - Perrid - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 11:58 am:

    @Anon, I agree there are more details to be worked out. Though for the people doing quick visits or something like that, they already might not be buying gas in IL, which is basically what this proposal would replace/supplement. I know my family went over the bridge to MO to get gas a dime or more cheaper per gallon, which you could argue meant we weren’t paying for the upkeep to our wear and tear on IL’s roads. So this proposal would close that loophole, for one thing.


  15. - Alex Ander - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 12:06 pm:

    – I’m curious to know what Mr. Sterns thoughts would be on cutting funding to SIUC just to see what impact the closing of the region’s cultural, educational, and economic hub would have. –

    You’d be amazed at how many people down here scream for them to close SIU and they thinking that it would not affect the economy down here. When I tell people that SIU closing would wreck the southern Illinois economy they just laugh.


  16. - Phenomynous - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 12:19 pm:

    How would the Route 66 car show ever get along without the help from the Mighty state of Illinois and it’s ever so important Office of Tourism?


  17. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 12:46 pm:

    ===How would the Route 66 car show ever get along without the help===

    I couldn’t easily find recent numbers, but in years past the state provided a quarter of the budget.


  18. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 1:23 pm:

    ===How would the Route 66 car show ever get along without the help===

    The Route 66 Foundation might have to auction off Abe’s antique Corvette to cover the costs.


  19. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 2:03 pm:

    ===How would the Route 66 car show ever get along without the help===

    The Route 66 Foundation might have to auction off Abe’s antique Corvette to cover the costs.==

    Well done.


  20. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 2:18 pm:

    Pritzker could turn this around by asking voters to submit their plan to make all electric pay their share of road maintenance.


  21. - SSL - Monday, Sep 24, 18 @ 9:02 pm:

    JB could shut all this down if he would talk about how he is going to pay for all the things that must be done, along with all the pie in the sky stuff he says he’s going to do. Since he won’t provide any revenue plan, he gets the grief. Get used to it.


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