Gas tax hike is nonstarter

April 17, 2014 

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.

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service