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Question of the day

Friday, Jan 11, 2019

* If you watch the video, he has a somewhat tortured response, but I think it’s probably safe to say that he’s more than just “open” to a gas tax hike…



* The Question: Should the gas tax be increased to pay for a new infrastructure program? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please (and if you vote “No,” explain how the program should be funded)…


survey services

- Posted by Rich Miller        

34 Comments
  1. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:18 pm:

    Yes at this point, because gas prices are low. Infrastructure improvement is necessary for our economic future.


  2. - The Real Captain - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:18 pm:

    Yes. This state is crumbling and it has been too long since we had a real capital bill or raised the gas tax. I say raise it at least 10 cents a gallon.


  3. - Gooner - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:21 pm:

    Yes, since it is basically a user tax.

    Use the roads more than others? Pay more.

    Plus, from an environmental standpoint I like higher gas taxes. They encourage less gas use and encourage people to buy more fuel efficient cars.


  4. - Wylie Coyote - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:21 pm:

    While they’re at it, they should also shift the revenue from the sales tax on motor fuel into the Road Fund instead of GRF. There’s hundreds of millions of dollars collected there that should also be going for infrastructure. The lockbox amendment missed that.


  5. - OneMan - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:21 pm:

    It seems logical to try and do something about our roads. We have become more and more of a transportation hub, we need to act like it.


  6. - Rutro - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:22 pm:

    Any additional revenue should have a mandatory debt/bond reducing requirement, then ok.


  7. - Northsider - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:23 pm:

    Yes, and index it to inflation.

    The gas tax hasn’t changed since 1990; the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI Inflation Calculator tells me it take 37 cents today to buy what 19 cents did back then. A higher gas tax should be a funding stream for a new capital investments bill.

    And please, no voters, tell us how else to pay for capital investments in road maintenance, transit, commuter & passenger rail, bicycle infrastructure, etc.


  8. - Overly Moderated - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:23 pm:

    Because it is in the state’s interest to maintain roads.


  9. - Stormfield - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:24 pm:

    The challenge with a per gallon tax is that we have other government goals (higher MPG, more electric vehicles, more public transit utilization) that are trying to drive that revenue down.

    Maybe a gas tax in the short run, but that’s a 20th-century solution to the problem. I realize the mileage tax is not politically plausible right now, but at a minimum it would do a better job of being a stable revenue source. Plus tolls. Plus those fancy vehicle charging lanes. All of the above. Infrastructure is so important to the State, and we need to get back to investing.


  10. - muon - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:25 pm:

    Yes, the tax has not kept up with the needs of the road fund. It would be even better if it was combined with a decrease or elimination of the state’s 5% portion of the sales tax. We are one of very few states that tax both the gallons pumped and the dollar value of the sale.


  11. - Chicago 20 - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:25 pm:

    No. The infrastructure fund has been pillaged for years for everything but infrastructure.

    Businesses that require infrastructure improvements and EV’s need to also pay.

    Multiple sources and revenue streams will be needed to fairly fund these projects.


  12. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:26 pm:

    Yes, and add a modest surcharge on bicycle sales in Illinois. Those fancy striped bike lanes don’t pay for themselves.


  13. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:28 pm:

    Chicago 20

    See the Lockbox Amendment.


  14. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:33 pm:

    No, because it is regressive and hits poor, working commuters the hardest.

    The poor frequently have long commutes and older vehicles. We can’t all afford the latest greatest Prius.


  15. - Les Nessman - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:34 pm:

    Yes. 20-25 cents so that we are not always in a state of just maintenance & repair and we can truly be innovative with a capitol program for roads, bridges, and transit.


  16. - lake county democrat - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:40 pm:

    Generally don’t like flat taxes but 1) I don’t think this one is as regressive as it seems at first blush because of where people who drive the most miles and/or w/ low MPH vehicles live (if not perfect correlation esp. in rural parts of the state), 2) infrastructure sorely needed, 3) possible positive effect on environment and traffic.


  17. - illinikid - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:41 pm:

    As more cars become hybrid, electric, or even hydrogen the gas tax becomes more and more ineffective. A mileage tax is the equitable solution. For the people screaming about privacy issues, CA tested a mileage tax and offered various methods to track mileage, some that didn’t track your location. But really, anyone who thinks the government can’t already track your whereabouts if they wanted to is not all there.


  18. - FarandWide - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:41 pm:

    Whether we should or not is simple. Yes, it’s a user based fee but, and there’s always a but…it should be indexed to inflation and/or some other relevant economic indicator so we don’t go through 30 year periods of underfunded pay as you go programs. Underfunding, which leads to bond sales at higher than necessary interest rates because we are a mess in other parts of the budget. Sustainability is key to effective programming for pay as you go transportation projects.

    Get a sustainable answer for urban mass transit as well so those two competing interests don’t interfere with each other.


  19. - Honeybear - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:42 pm:

    Yes, I’m okay with paying more to get infrastructure back up.


  20. - South Side Sam - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:42 pm:

    alternative fuel vehicles also need to contribute a fair share.


  21. - Earnest - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:44 pm:

    I voted “yes.” Our infrastructure needs work and we don’t have enough revenue available from current sources.


  22. - Huh? - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:44 pm:

    What is meant by infrastructure? Roads and bridges? Water works? Sanitary sewers and wastewater systems? Privately owned communications and electrical systems? Port terminals? Rail for transit and freight?

    Infrastructure is overly broad and vague terminology.

    To the post - A qualified yes. Yes, provided the proceeds of the gas tax increase are dispersed under current law.

    Diverting MFT into other infrastructure projects that are unrelated to a roadway improvement forces motorists to pay for improvements from which they do not benefit.

    An example is Indiana has increased tolls on the tollroad to pay for statewide roadway improvements, unrelated to the tollroad. There is a federal suit filed against Indiana by OTR truckers, paying increased tolls, claiming they don’t benefit from the increased costs because the money is being spent on non-tollroad projects.


  23. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:46 pm:

    Yes, index to inflation and also index to average mpg so as are become more efficient the revenue stream is constant.


  24. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:53 pm:

    Voted No. Two reasons: (1) the gas tax impacts the poor driving older vehicles to a greater degree than the upper and middle class in my area that are now infatuated with electric Teslas and hybrids. (2) push the mileage tax on the electric and hybrid vehicles, who clearly don’t pay their fair share, and are generally owned by those who can afford to purchase them. With battery technology rapidly improving, electric vehicle ranges of mileage will improve and they will begin to pay their fair share.


  25. - Anon - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 3:54 pm:

    No, it’s an outdated and regressive way to pay for roads and it is wholly inappropriate to fund transit and other non-road infrastructure. This is classic Illinois - it represents the same, tired way of governing. I’d suggest other sources that are not fuel-type specific or that are more stable and would provide a more sustainable source of funding, particularly as the Dems push for a 100% renewal energy in 10 years.


  26. - Perplexed - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 4:00 pm:

    Yes, there is no way to adequately repair/ rebuild our roads and bridges with tax revenue that has 50% of the buying power that it had originally.

    More importantly, currently the tax burden falls solely on those that drive gas-powered vehicles. There should be a surcharge on electric/ hybrid cars. They contribute equally to the wear and tear on the roads without paying the tax that gas-powered vehicle owners pay.


  27. - Jay Kay - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 4:07 pm:

    Yes and no. I’m a hard core libertarian/fiscal conservative. People should pay for what they use. Increased fuel efficiency and electric cars have made it impossible to fully fund infrastructure with a gas tax. You can’t raise the gas tax enough to pay for infrastructure.

    I wouldn’t mind if they raised the gas tax though it’s not a long term solution.

    Even if a person doesn’t drive, they count on roads for police, fire, deliveries, etc.

    Include roads with the general fund as a high priority and cut everything that doesn’t fit within our income. By definition we have to do that based on our never followed balanced budget constitution.


  28. - What’s in a name? - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 4:09 pm:

    Should be transportation related. I am ok helping transit as it reduces traffic and thereby provides value.


  29. - City Zen - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 4:10 pm:

    Yes, but only if there is a cap on the sales tax that can be charged, say, $1.50/gal.


  30. - M - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 4:13 pm:

    I voted yes only because IL needs new infrastructure. However, the electric cars also need to be taxed for using the roads and bridges, but I don’t think a mileage tax is the way to go. They could add an ‘infrastructure tax’ to the purchase price of the electric cars.


  31. - SSL - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 4:15 pm:

    Voted no. It is a regressive tax, and Illinois already has the 10th highest gasoline tax per gallon in the country. I would suggest legalized marijuana and expanded gambling taxes be used to contribute to required infrastructure improvements and repairs.

    Properly prioritizing infrastructure needs will be critical.


  32. - Original Rambler - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 4:21 pm:

    Sure, but need to find a way to make hybrids and electric vehicles contribute also. Maybe a registration surcharge. Not a fan of mileage tax until someone shows me a relatively simple way to administer it.


  33. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 4:46 pm:

    Voted yes.

    The issue now is, for me, how high, and what all can be part of the capital bill.


  34. - Anon - Monday, Jan 14, 19 @ 8:43 am:

    Illinois is only the 10th highest per gallon tax in the nation if you count the “Sales Tax” portion which does NOT go to transportation.

    If we are talking about funding transportation, you only count the state gas tax (MFT). Illinois is one of the lowest. It is 36th out of 51 (including DC). Which means we are in the Bottom 15 states.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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