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It’s just a (gas tax) bill

Thursday, Mar 21, 2019

* I’ve been telling subscribers about this for days

There’s a $2 billion gas tax increase on the table at the statehouse to pay for infrastructure projects, but some warn such a move will hurt lower-income families the hardest. There’s also an effort to give municipalities more ability to impose their own gas taxes.

State Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Chicago, said motorists should expect a push to double the state’s gas tax from .19 cents a gallon to .38 cents heading into the home stretch of spring session. An amendment to Senate Bill 103 would also increase the annual vehicle registration fee by $50, and $130 more for electric vehicles.

A fact sheet from the International Union of Operating Engineers says those increases along with doubling the fee on drivers’ licenses and increasing truck registration fees by $100 would raise an additional $2 billion.

State Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, said increasing the motor fuel tax will hit working families.

There’s lots more to this bill, but you either gotta subscribe or wait for somebody else to write about it.

* Meanwhile, a spokesperson says this bill may be called for a vote next week in the House Revenue Committee. From a press release…

Legislation under consideration in Springfield that would allow municipalities to impose their own local, .03¢ per gallon gas tax is being welcomed as a tool for struggling communities to rebuilding their local economies.

The legislation, House Bill 102, would require municipalities to register a responsible bidder ordinance with the Illinois Department of Transportation to allow them to impose a local motor fuel tax of up to .03¢ per gallon, a tax which would be administered and enforced by the Illinois Department of Revenue.

“With towns, villages, and cities throughout Illinois struggling to pay police and fire pension costs while straining to preserve core services, local leaders need additional revenue to fund community capital construction projects ,” said long-time local municipal attorney Michael Del Galdo, managing partner of the Berwyn-based Del Galdo Law Group, LLC., who serves as general counsel for multiple suburban Cook County communities. […]

“By including a responsible bidder provision in the bill, municipalities will be assured that a qualified workforce will be employed on behalf of projects supported by a local gas tax,” said Marc Poulos, Executive Director, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting. “More broadly, this bill will help local communities rebuild their finances and revive their local workforce after the damage inflicted on their budgets and economies due to the Rauner Administration’s historic mismanagement.”

…Adding… Tribune

[Orphe Divounguy, chief economist for the Illinois Policy Institute] said the state should eliminate waste and investigate corruption before raising more taxes.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

27 Comments
  1. - City Zen - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 2:24 pm:

    Sandoval goes high, Sosnowski goes low. I know the game.

    So locals are going to charge a motor fuel surcharge to pay pensions? Might sound more convincing if it wasn’t coming from one of Larry Dominick’s guys.


  2. - Perrid - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 2:29 pm:

    City Zen, they said this money would go to capital projects. You want to argue it’s all one pool of money, fine, whatever.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this so I’m going to ask the stupid question, but it IS wrong to write .03 cents, right? It’s either 3¢ or $0.03 , not .03¢.


  3. - A Jack - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 2:35 pm:

    Registration fees are already higher than surrounding states. I think all these taxes and fees will give low income people another reason to leave Illinois. I am okay with raising the registration on electric vehicles since they don’t pay gas tax. And I am okay with raising registration on semi’s since they do most of the damage to the roads.

    But raising the gas tax and gas vehicle registration while gas prices are increasing is only playing into the Madigan / Pritzker blank check narrative. I guarantee this will come up during the attempt to pass the progressive tax if it passes.


  4. - cover - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 2:39 pm:

    = So locals are going to charge a motor fuel surcharge to pay pensions? =

    No, the locals’ ability to pay for basic services like street repair/maintenance is being crowded out by growing pension contributions, especially for police and firefighter pension funds. The local MFT would replace other local sources (e.g. sales and property taxes) that used to be used for streets before Squeezy came along.


  5. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 3:03 pm:

    I might be able to stomach some of this if we can get a 10 yr freeze on 150’s hourly costs.


  6. - NotATesla - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 3:16 pm:

    >>I am okay with raising the registration on electric vehicles since they don’t pay gas tax.

    I think that those of us that own cheaper econobox electric cars are getting caught up with the hype that Tesla has created. The high visibility of a $50,000-$100,000 luxury electric car has made people forget that there are bunches of electric cars that are not high priced status symbols. I bought mine because of the affordability factor rather than the ability to make a statement.

    When your car has a range of 60 miles per charge versus 300 plus for a Tesla, you don’t drive near as many miles. An electric Fiat 500e or Nissan Leaf doesn’t weigh any more than an Accord or Camry.

    EV owners shouldn’t be penalized with a $130 a year jump registration fees when your average SUV/CUV will drive many more miles and weigh more than any non-Tesla electric car.


  7. - Honeybear - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 3:19 pm:

    “Orphe Divounguy, chief economist for the Illinois Policy Institute] said the state should eliminate waste and investigate corruption before raising more taxes.”

    I agree. Independently audit EDGE and kill two birds with one stone.


  8. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 3:25 pm:

    Illinois would raise gas tax 19 cents. Wall Street Journal yesterday says feds would raise gas tax 25 cents. 44 cents more for gas? Ouch!


  9. - SSL - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    It’s a regressive tax, but everyone’s got to contribute. Tax and spend is what the the voters wanted.

    Are retirees next?


  10. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 3:41 pm:

    IPI got copies of that statement, with blanks for the speaker’s name, in bulk years ago. They haven’t run out yet, so they’re still using it.


  11. - Demoralized - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 3:49 pm:

    ==the state should eliminate waste==

    Ahh, the old waste savings argument as the answer to our prayers.


  12. - Gone - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 3:53 pm:

    One more reason to move out of Illinois.


  13. - Jibba - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 4:05 pm:

    I will dislike paying more for gas and registration, but an extra $2B per year in road improvements will be very helpful and will stimulate the economy. I also believe that you get what you pay for, unlike IPI, who still apparently believe in unicorns and magic beans.


  14. - City Zen - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 4:09 pm:

    ==An electric Fiat 500e or Nissan Leaf doesn’t weigh any more than an Accord or Camry.==

    Too add to that, hybrid technology adds weight to a vehicle while improving gas mileage. If we’re going down that road (pun intended), there should be some surcharge on hybrids as well.


  15. - SAP - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 4:30 pm:

    Making the registration fee for electric vehicles the same as it is for internal combustion vehicles would be a nice start.


  16. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 4:48 pm:

    “Illinois Policy Institute] said the state should eliminate waste and investigate corruption before raising more taxes.”

    IPI never gives specifics.
    What state waste is IPI referencing? What corruption is IPI referencing?


  17. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 4:55 pm:

    –[Orphe Divounguy, chief economist for the Illinois Policy Institute] said the state should eliminate waste and investigate corruption before raising more taxes.–

    I wouldn’t stay up late waiting on that call from the Nobel Foundation.


  18. - VerySmallRocks - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 5:04 pm:

    City Zen, that’s actually been a tactic in some states by pollutung guzzlers to not only punish electric vehicles, but also fuel efficient vehucles. It’s parallel to reactionary utilities looking to punish energy efficient residences as well as those with solar power. Guzzle, guzzle, toil and trouble…


  19. - the working poor - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 5:13 pm:

    I am all for raising the registration fee on electric vehicles - i can’t believe it’s currently $18 - but raising the regular fee is a sad proposition for the working poor who already struggle to pay the registration fee each year, not to mention those living in chicago and paying for a city sticker and higher insurance premiums.


  20. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 5:18 pm:

    Very Small Rocks, the “reward” of a fuel efficient vehicle is paying less to power it than a less efficient vehicle. However, all vehicles use the “real estate” of roads when driven, and should bear some responsibility for their upkeep. We can only lean on gas guzzlers to pay the freight so much…if the societal goal is “zero emissions”, we will be increasingly trying to squeeze blood from a turnip if our only solution is raising fuel taxes. As a short term measure, raising fuel taxes will suffice, but we are on the cusp of a change that sees fuel tax revenues on a downward slope no matter what the tax rate is.


  21. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 5:19 pm:

    Working poor, the solution is to pay registration based on the value of the car. Make it progressive.


  22. - A Jack - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 5:23 pm:

    Regardless of how the registration fees shake out and as much as we need a capital bill, I think this is the wrong route to take at this time.

    Wait until the progressive tax is passed and 97% get a tax cut as well as a minimum wage increase before you start raising other taxes and fees. You are going to give a lot of ammo to the anti-progressive tax groups and see a drop in Democratic party popularity before the important 2020 election.


  23. - Huh? - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 6:31 pm:

    In favor of higher MFT and vehicle registration fees provided the additional funds are not diverted into non-transportation infrastructure projects.

    It makes sense to charge electric vehicles a higher registration fee as a means of enacting an equivalent fee for the privilege of using the roads in the State.


  24. - Anon - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 8:05 pm:

    This tax completely wipe out whatever meager tax cut the 97% were going to get.

    Let’s take a family of 4 and assume they have 3 cars in the household. Let’s assume that the primary drivers average 10,000 miles each while the 3rd car totals 3,000 miles between the 2 kids.

    Assuming the family average between the 3 cars is 25mpg, the family would use 920 gallons a year.

    The gas tax would cost them an extra $175. Increased vehicle registration fees bring that total even higher costing an extra $150. Finally, we will assume one of the 3 or 4 drivers needs a license renewal in any given year, adding another $30.

    All told that is a tax increase of $355 on that family. That is assuming they have no trucks or electric vehicles, in which case costs will be even higher.

    Such large tax increases were not what we were told to expect, and large across the board increases like that will disproportionately harm less affluent folks who are likely to be driving older, less fuel efficient cars.


  25. - Etown - Thursday, Mar 21, 19 @ 9:50 pm:

    You knew gas tax increase was coming and frankly if it goes for roads and bridges that are woefully inadequate happy to pay for it

    Why it took so long to talk about is embarrassing. Hell Indiana already did it with Republicans in charge but as always Illinois has to follow lead of smaller neighbors who can solve problems rather than kick them down road to let someone else solve


  26. - logic not emotion - Friday, Mar 22, 19 @ 9:55 am:

    Perrid: You’re point is well taken. That is actually a pretty big difference.


  27. - Suburban Mom - Friday, Mar 22, 19 @ 1:17 pm:

    I don’t mind paying more for gas, but GOD raising the registration fee makes me grumpy.

    I’m sure the gas tax costs me far more, but at least I can adjust my behavior in response, and it’s spread out over the year.


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