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Sandoval likely to scale back taxes and fees for capital

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

* From what used to be known as the Illinois News Network

Lawmakers appeared poised to vote on a bill that would more than double the state’s motor fuel tax to pay for statewide transportation projects, but the plan stalled late Tuesday as negotiations continued.

Under state Sen. Martin Sandoval’s proposed legislation, the motor fuel tax would be more than doubled from 19 cents to 44 cents per gallon and indexed to inflation. That would mean the tax would increase each year with inflation, but that annual increase would be capped at a penny per year.

With the sales tax included, the proposal would give Illinois the highest gas tax in the nation at more than 60 cents. Pennsylvania’s tax on a gallon of fuel is 58 cents. In addition, the bill would add a $1,000 annual registration fee for electric vehicles. The existing registration fee for electric vehicles is $17.50. Those registration fees would also increase with the rate of inflation every year, with caps set at 102.5 percent of the previous year’s total.

Lawmakers had until earlier this month to call legislation and amendments in committee to get them to the Senate floor, but the chamber suspended those rules Tuesday afternoon so Sandoval could get the legislation out of committee.

However, Sandoval convened and then adjourned the Senate Transportation Committee in a matter of minutes without calling the legislation.

“Leader [Don] DeWitte is working with me very arduously to try and fashion another amendment,” Sandoval said after the hearing.

He said he expects the bill to be changed to scale back some tax hikes, notably the annual registration fee for electric vehicles.

Rumor mill has it at a 19-cents increase in the Motor Fuel Tax (doubled) and maybe $400-500 for the annual EV regisration fee. But everything is fluid right now.

* Related…

* Illinois educators call for schools to be part of capital bill

- Posted by Rich Miller        

25 Comments
  1. - City Zen - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:37 pm:

    As I said the other day, the final motor fuel tax will have a 3 in front of it. Predict it will be less than 38 cents, lest anyone be associated with doubling the tax.


  2. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:38 pm:

    ===lest anyone be associated with doubling the tax===

    “Nearly doubled” is just as bad.


  3. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:38 pm:

    I don’t believe Sandoval is truly the front man on this. I suspect legislators are waiting for Pritzker to unveil a plan.

    And waiting, still.


  4. - Steve - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:45 pm:

    It’s hard not to have compassion for working class people who have to drive in Illinois.


  5. - JB13 - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:46 pm:

    $400 is where I expected the EV fee would ultimately land. A fair range, particularly considering $17 a year to register vehicles that heretofore had been affordable almost entirely to the rich, was absurd.


  6. - Al - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:53 pm:

    How big is the Capitol plan? How many dollars over how many years? Anyone have details or is it still in a state of flux?


  7. - SSL - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:03 pm:

    When it comes to taxes, make no little plans. To think the title of the highest gasoline tax in the country was within our grasp. Well, at least we have the property tax to make us proud.

    What are the chances we can get “Taxman” as the state song?


  8. - City Zen - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:30 pm:

    Meanwhile, in the #1 motor fuel tax state in the country…

    https://www.yourerie.com/news/local-news/pa-has-the-highest-gas-tax-in-the-country-and-that-money-is-being-misspent-to-state-police/1954075956


  9. - Cassandra - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:35 pm:

    Are rural voters supportive of this tax hike?

    I’m wondering if Sandoval et al have read about the yellow vests movement in France, which started as a grassroots protest against proposed fuel tax hikes. The movement is ongoing (since last year) although I think President Macron is having second thoughts.


  10. - Cool Papa Bell - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:39 pm:

    I’d like to see some sort of a cap on the inflation part.

    Like once it gets to 50 cents a gallon it can’t increase for five years.

    Or no more than a penny every other year.


  11. - Cool Papa Bell - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:41 pm:

    @Cassandra

    I’d say that rural voters could be the most in support of the plan. The last capitol bill largely ignored county highways and rural roads. I’m not sure if you drive rural state routes or highways but they can make I-80 and 55 or 57 look smooth as glass.


  12. - anon2 - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    No matter how small the gas tax hike, most GOP legislators will be opposed. But they will eagerly line up for infrastructure projects in their districts.


  13. - Al - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:55 pm:

    The Motor Fuel fund has been raided in the past. What will prevent transfers into the GRF? Nothing if the past is a guide.


  14. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:03 pm:

    ===What will prevent transfers===

    A constitutional amendment passed in 2016.


  15. - A guy - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:25 pm:

    ==But they will eagerly line up for infrastructure projects in their districts===

    It seems their districts will be paying a healthy portion of the tax. I’m not in favor of higher grocery prices, but I’d still like the stuff I paid for.


  16. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:28 pm:

    –I’m wondering if Sandoval et al have read about the yellow vests movement in France, which started as a grassroots protest against proposed fuel tax hikes.–

    Yeah, that’s all it was. And so comparable to Illinois.

    But I hear Rauner is going to make a comeback leading a Biker Vest Con Mucho Badges Movement protesting the lack of flair in the governor’s wardrobe.

    And the Eastern Bloc is planning a Grey Vest with Stars and Bars Movement protesting whatever will get them some attention.


  17. - nieva - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 5:02 pm:

    So we ask for double and settle for half and tell the populace what a favor we are doing for them.


  18. - VerySmallRocks - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 5:02 pm:

    A $400-500 EV registration fee is still arbitrary and capricious, the fee should be the same $148 as other vehicles, plus paying the equivalent gas tax based on miles and fuel efficiency. We should not be punished because we’re not polluting guzzlers. And, dear phony populists, we ain’t rich!


  19. - truthteller - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 5:57 pm:

    fees need to go up, but lord what happened to commonsense in doing so?


  20. - Anonanonsir - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 6:18 pm:

    More regressive taxes and fees to fund unions usually works for Illinois Dems.


  21. - allknowingmasterofraccoodom - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 9:46 pm:

    They should take all this new money and pay down the pension debt.

    Then clean up operations for the next 4-6 years, modernize, reorganize. Show some cost controls.

    Then, after that, go out and do a real capital bill, with the confidence of the people. The bond companies will eat it up.


  22. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 10:42 pm:

    More taxes on the working poor and middle class. Compliments of the Dems.


  23. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 10:45 pm:

    I hope the Reitz kid doesn’t get to comfortable. He goes down by 15%. Blue Dog taking bets.


  24. - Angry Chicagoan - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 8:54 am:

    If Illinois Democrats are going to persist with this regressive vehicle tax, it should be $98 for all, end of statement, no increase. If they’re genuinely worried about connecting fees to the ability to pay, how about they do what many other states do and very the fee by the age and value of the vehicle? Targeting electric vehicles in the environmental situation we’re in is moot. They’re saying that a Chevy Bolt, with the same current cost of ownership (payments, interest, fueling etc.) as a gasoline-powered compact, or a Nissan Leaf, similar in cost to a subcompact, is some kind of elitist status symbol that deserves to be far more heavily taxed than a Bentley or a Rolls. That is completely ludicrous and undermines the Democrats’ entire argument about tax policy.


  25. - Cara Day - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 12:44 pm:

    EVs (electric vehicles) already pay taxes in utilities for the electricity they use.


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