New Senate bill proposes $2 billion gas tax increase

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A new Senate bill proposes to double the Illinois gas tax, the Chicago Tribune reports. It would increase the original 19 cents to 38 cents per gallon to pay for infrastructure repair, such as fixing roads, bridges and transit systems. The new bill will also increase vehicle registration and driver’s license fees.

State Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Chicago, proposed Senate Bill 103 on Wednesday. The bill could create almost $2 billion in revenue.

Sandoval’s bill proposes to increase the passenger vehicle registration fee from $98 to $148, the electric vehicle fee from $17.50 to $148 and most drivers’ license fees from $30 to $60.

If the bill passes, it would be the first time since 1990 where Illinos raised the gas tax. The last capital bill to fund the state’s transportation infrastructure was ten years ago.

Legislation to increase the gas tax has been expected this spring. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said he wants to prioritize a comprehensive infrastructure bill  to bring in as much federal money possible.

Illinois is not the first state to find new money for transportation. Indiana hiked its fuel taxes in 2017 by ten cents gallon and added annual fees for electric vehicles.

Gas tax hikes are discussed nationwide. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce told Congress the desire to increase the federal gas tax by 25 cents over the next five years.

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