* From the Tribune…
Beyond a once-a-decade mega-transportation bill, lawmakers are looking for ongoing road and transit related funding sources. One possibility is an increase in the state’s 19-cent-per-gallon motor fuel tax, a levy that has not been increased since 1990, when it was 16 cents per gallon. Lawmakers also are looking at tying the gas tax rate to inflation, allowing it to grow over time.
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce has backed a motor fuel tax hike in exchange for eliminating the state’s sales tax on gasoline, a move that could provide cover for some Republicans. But others say that instead of eliminating the sales tax on gas, which goes to overall state spending, the state should slowly transfer its revenues to transportation-related spending. […]
There have been talks about funding building projects, known as “vertical infrastructure,” through taxes on legalized marijuana and sports betting. That, however, would take away money that Pritzker has dedicated to other parts of his budget. […]
Already there appears to be a general reluctance among some Senate Democrats to vote on a capital bill until the General Assembly addresses the income tax change.
1) Indexing the MFT to inflation is a no-brainer and should’ve been done decades ago;
2) Redirecting the state sales tax on gas and diesel to capital projects isn’t a bad idea, but only if the budget can sustain the hit;
3) Pritzker has only tapped into cannabis/sports betting licensing fees in his proposed budget, leaving open the possibility that usage revenue could be spent on something else down the road;
4) Vegetables before dessert, please.