There's a reason the group Transportation for Illinois Coalition is having trouble finding a state lawmaker to sponsor their tax ideas. The timing is terrible.
The group is advocating for a 4-cent per gallon increase in the motor fuel tax, higher vehicle registrations fees and expansion of the sales tax to some auto-related services not taxed now.
But with gas prices nearing $4 a gallon and the governor's push to make the temporary income tax increase permanent, Illinois taxpayers have more than enough on their plate already.
The coalition showed its tin ear by arguing that a 4-cent per gallon increase would hardly be noticed. Illinois already has noticeably higher taxes on gas than neighboring states. This plan would take an additional $1.8 billion out of people's wallets, which isn't exactly pocket change.
And before even discussing more money for roads, Illinois needs to demonstrate that the road taxes it collects now are going for that purpose exclusively. As long as the state continues to divert some of the taxes intended for roads into the general fund, this topic should remain a nonstarter.