New Proposal Would Tax Drivers on Their Mileage

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A new proposal to get more money to fill the state’s roads would tax drivers by the mile.

“We had a pothole and we hit it so hard that some of us, myself included, flew up in the air and I got a scratch on my elbow and hit my head.”

Kacie Laumendier says potholes and bad road conditions are a consistent problem in the state.

“It was like the road was eroding away. That should be fixed. That should be fixed.”

One proposal hopes to change that by tracking how far drivers travel by putting devices on cars, then taxing by the mile.

“I see this as a positive. It’s an easier way because everybody drives, so I think it will be a good way to raise taxes.”

The bill’s sponsor and Senate President John Cullerton (D) says the idea was brought up because gas tax revenue has dropped over the past few yeas due to more fuel-efficient cars on the road. Some are even electric.

Under the measure, drivers could pick whether the device is on their car to track mileage or they can pay the 1.5-cent per mile tax on a base 30,000 miles traveled per year. Some people, like Mecole Jordan, don’t like the idea.

“I feel like that’s definitely overreaching. I feel like that’s definitely an invasion of privacy on a whole other level at its finest.”

Another option is to track specifically where you drive. It would not charge drivers when they are out of state or on toll roads.

Senator Matt Murphy (R) says now is not the time to consider this.

“You know, there’s been a lot of talk of tax increases by the Democrats in Springfield and, right now is not the time to add another tax increase on. I think this idea is not yet ready for Illinois.”

He says it would be a big change for the state and he would need to see how it worked before supporting it.

“It’s been tried in other places and frankly, has it really been embraced? I think this is a new idea that frankly has not been vetted.”

Under the proposal, driers would get refunds for tax costs paid at the pump while out of state drivers not registered here would pay taxes as usual.

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