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Skillicorn again rails against gas tax hike

Monday, Jan 7, 2019

* Just so you know, there are no plans that I can find to raise the gas tax during the lame duck session

A Chicago-area lawmaker said Monday the state can’t afford a gas tax increase, calling it “predatory.”

Rep. Allen Skillicorn, R-East Dundee, said rumors have been “swirling around” since November about a 25-cents-per-gallon gas tax increase, and the idea for a gas tax up to 30 cents was recently floated by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. In addition, now-former Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn, in his final weeks on the job last month, said an increase would “provide revenue necessary to maintain, enhance and modernize” the infrastructure system.

Skillicorn, however, said it would be “prudent” to wait to see how the lockbox amendment to the Illinois constitution, prohibiting the use of state transportation funds for any other purposes and passed in 2016, works out first.

Skillicorn, speaking at the Capitol Monday as the House returned to session for the first time since the veto session in November, acknowledged the need for repairs, maintenance and design upgrades for roads. But the strategic way for the state to deal with it is by working with its congressional delegation.

Both Republican legislative leaders are on record saying they want to get a capital bill done soon, and notice that Skillicorn was the only legislator at the presser who is returning in the 101st GA.

* More

The state gas tax was increased in 1990, according to reports by the Chicago Tribune, which is why proponents of the increase say it’s time for the rate to go up again. Skillicorn contests that, though, and says there is a percentage base in place to make up for things like the rise inflation.

“Just because gasoline prices have dropped and the free market works and politics in Washington DC work to lower gas prices: Is that a good reason to raise gas taxes on the people of Illinois?” he asked Monday.

He also says timing is a key reason why the tax should not be increased. Two years ago, lawmakers passed what is essentially a lock box measure that would ensure motor fuel taxes be used for transportation and infrastructure needs only. He says it was to ensure the executive branch could not tap in to those funds. That law has only been in effect for 1 year, though, and Skillicorn says time is needed to see how useful that law is, and if the state actually needs an increase.

Timing in Washington is also key, he says. While Democrats and Republicans seem to be at odds with most things, the two sides do agree that investment in roads, bridges and other infrastructure is necessary. He says it would be premature to raise the gas tax before tapping in to federal resources.

The DC point assumes that Congress and the President will actually get something done.

* And the accompanying sideshow…



Sigh.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

38 Comments »
  1. - The Real Captain - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 2:30 pm:

    The other protesters must have already moved out of Illinois … right?


  2. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 2:34 pm:

    What if the gas tax was increased to build the wall?


  3. - Fixer - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 2:37 pm:

    That’s an interesting list of things to protest.


  4. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 2:38 pm:

    I paid $1.95/gallon for gas two weeks ago. If we’re going to do it, now is the time.


  5. - Just Me 2 - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 2:40 pm:

    I appreciate that they don’t want their taxes raised, but are they suggesting the state doesn’t need a capital bill? What other source of revenue can be used to support the bonds?


  6. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 2:42 pm:

    Just Me 2,
    A Skillicorn demagoguery tax appears to be a viable revenue option in 2019.


  7. - City Zen - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 2:50 pm:

    At $3.04/gal, drivers spend more per gallon on state sales tax than fuel tax, not including county and municipal sales taxes.

    If you’re going to raise the gas tax, why not also either lower the sales tax rate on fuel or cap the amount that’s taxable (like $2/gal)?


  8. - Don Gerard - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    Champaign passed a 4-cent gas tax when gasoline was $5/gallon and, well, you know…fixed stuff, $245M construction boon in one year ($243M this year is second to that number as far as records go), population among fastest growing cities in U.S. for past five years…

    Allen Skillicorn and I don’t care…


  9. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:04 pm:

    I am hoping that Allen Skillicorn won’t be using any roads to and from the capitol. If you don’t like the gas tax, hop on your horse and travel. Don’t forget to stop and ask for permission to cross everyone’s property.


  10. - Soo... - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:14 pm:

    Please make it be known that women had a Q on the back of her vest. For those that dont know what that means: https://www.vox.com/2018/12/31/18144710/conspiracy-theories-trump-2018-qanon-soros-false-flags


  11. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:16 pm:

    ===Taxed Into Poverty===

    Are they there to support a progressive income tax???


  12. - jim - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:18 pm:

    He “rails” against tax hike? Looks to me like he’s merely opposed to it along with a lot of other people.


  13. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:19 pm:

    Just another effort by the Prius-driving Skillicorn to keep the status quo in place so hybrid drivers like himself don’t have to pay their fair share for the roads they use.


  14. - City Zen - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:19 pm:

    ==If you don’t like the gas tax, hop on your horse and travel.==

    Skillicorn currently pays about 40 cents per gallon in state/local taxes on one gallon of gas, which is more than maybe 8 states in the country. And for that, he gets to ride a horse everywhere? Is he allowed to ride on the shoulder?


  15. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    Can’t something like a 4c a gallon be considered? I don’t think we need to move to such a large increase.

    I think there is a lot of room to move here. Skillicorn’s efforts to score cheap posture points doesn’t remove the viability of the proposal.


  16. - Perrid - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    “If you’re going to raise the gas tax, why not also either lower the sales tax rate on fuel or cap the amount that’s taxable (like $2/gal)?”

    You get the argument is that the state needs more money to meet it obligations, specifically to maintain roads? In what way does trying to balance out this hike with a cut do that? If they wanted to take less money out of drivers’ pockets, they could just have a smaller hike.


  17. - Annonin' - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    Skillikorn’s vaunted organizational skills on full display. Think the protesting whack jobs know their yellow jackets are a French motoring mandate.


  18. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:30 pm:

    ==Skillicorn currently pays about 40 cents per gallon in state/local taxes on one gallon of gas, which is more than maybe 8 states in the country. And for that, he gets to ride a horse everywhere? Is he allowed to ride on the shoulder? ==

    We can create a special lane for people who don’t want to pay their fair share. Speed limit will be 15mph.


  19. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:31 pm:

    Terrible idea. We already have the highest gas prices of all the states in the area.


  20. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:32 pm:

    ===We can create a special lane for people who don’t want to pay their fair share===

    I thought we called those “bicycle lanes?”


  21. - Honeybear - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:32 pm:

    I’m so glad I don’t have to retire the word
    Perfidy


  22. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:37 pm:

    ==I thought we called those “bicycle lanes?”==

    Fine with me. Skillicorn can ride his bike too. If he can find a way to put pedals on a horse, great. Just stay off our tax lanes. Also, since electricity and water are paid from taxes here, please refrain from using them while in Springfield.


  23. - SOIL M - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:39 pm:

    When the I-57 bridge over the Mississippi River there were 3 gas stations opned at Exit 1. One of these was a Truck stop with a full service restaurant. All 3 are now closed due to not being able to compete with lower gas prices just across the bridge in MO. Anyone travelling south on a regular basis knows that you don’t stop until you get to Boomland. Gas this weekend in Mo was 1.79. So sure raise taxes again. And then keep wondering why more and more business, and people, go out of State.


  24. - Truthseeker - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:54 pm:

    “Rumors are swirling” LOL. Nobody with a brain talked to Squirrelcorn in the last GA, what makes him relevant now?

    Two years until the GOP gives away another seat to a moderate Dem.


  25. - Humboldt - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 4:15 pm:

    These “tax lane” comments are great. You all know that existing gas taxes, anywhere in the US, don’t come close to covering the cost of road maintenance, right?


  26. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 4:18 pm:

    SOIL M is frankly right, though his partisan is showing.

    Trucking companies(who absolutely destroy roads) are not going to pay this tax. We are nailing commuters, especially poor commuters. It is a regressive tax.


  27. - City Zen - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 4:21 pm:

    ==You get the argument is that the state needs more money to meet it obligations, specifically to maintain roads?==

    It doesn’t have to be a 1:1 exchange. A cap would be a nice buffer against inflation. And it would be an acknowledgement there are other taxes in play. Isn’t JB all about transparency?

    ==Gas this weekend in Mo was 1.79.==

    MO fuel tax is only 1.7 cents lower than IL. Of course, like most states, MO doesn’t charge sales tax on top of fuel taxes.


  28. - Quzzical - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 4:26 pm:

    Soo..

    Notice also that the black T shirt guy seems to be also advocating Illinois secession from Chicago. He probably has no idea how much Chicago tax revenue would have to be replaced if that fantasy came true.


  29. - JS Mill - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 4:48 pm:

    Allen Skillicorn Translator- I want stuff but I want it for free. Also the new ILGOP slogan.


  30. - Demoralized - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 5:21 pm:

    ==Of course, like most states, MO doesn’t charge sales tax on top of fuel taxes==

    Because we always have to be like other states. If you want to be like other states then how about we try to get our infrastructure up to the level of some other states. I’d take that.

    I don’t have a problem paying a higher gas tax. The infrastructure in Illinois is horrible.


  31. - Demoralized - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 5:22 pm:

    ==I want stuff but I want it for free.==

    I’m actually not sure what he wants. Based on his Twitter feed and his other public statements I would say he really just likes to whine.


  32. - City Zen - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 5:25 pm:

    ==I want stuff but I want it for free.==

    So there’s no fuel tax today? It’s clearly stated in the post there is an existing tax, plus my numerous comments explaining the sales tax on top of that. That doesn’t sound free to me. Then again, I’m more concerned about being factually correct, which doesn’t seem to be en vogue, at least from what I could gather from 60 minutes yesterday.

    I believe the proper ILDem response to Skillicorn should be “Why do you hate roads?”


  33. - Demoralized - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 5:31 pm:

    ==I believe the proper ILDem response to Skillicorn should be “Why do you hate roads?”==

    I gather from his frequent Twitter rants that he hates everything. So I think that response would be pretty accurate.


  34. - Demoralized - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 5:32 pm:

    ==there’s going to be a civil war==

    Well, based on that picture of the protesters I’d say it will be a very, very, very short one.


  35. - JS Mill - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 5:36 pm:

    = I believe the proper ILDem response to Skillicorn should be “why do you hate roads?”=

    Good stuff, you have a future as an ILDP consultant. Find a Democrat and suggest it to them.

    I never said anything about the existence of taxes on gas, only someone like Skillicorn would deny the truth. My pint is that left to the likes of Skillicorn there would be no taxes because he sees them as bad no matter what.

    He is an eat his cake and have it kinda guy. He just isn’t honest about it.


  36. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 5:57 pm:

    Allen “kavanaugh is equivalent to Jesus” skillicorn


  37. - Alex Ander - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 7:15 pm:

    put that on diesel. They’re the ones that detroy the roads.


  38. - Huh? - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 8:41 pm:

    “put that on diesel. They’re the ones that detroy the roads.”

    There is an extra 2 cent surcharge on diesel fuel, regardless of the type of vehicle it is pumped in to. So the diesel VW Rabbit (yes, I am dating myself) pays the surcharge, same as the 80,000 pound semi-truck.


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