Illinois drivers could be taxed by the mile under a new proposal that would involve the use of devices to track the distance motorists travel.
The proposal from state Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, is in response to declining fuel tax revenues, which are used to fix Illinois’ roads.
Cullerton says vehicles getting better mileage still wear on roads and there needs to be a better way for the state to collect taxes and fund repair work, the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reported.
“If all the cars were electric, there would be no money for the roads,” Cullerton said.
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Under the plan, drivers could choose one of two ways that a device monitors their mileage. Under one option, the device would specifically track where drivers go and not charge for travel on Illinois toll roads or outside the state. The other option would just track odometer readings.
Or, if drivers have privacy concerns, they could also opt to pay a 1.5-cent-per-mile tax on a base 30,000 miles traveled annually.
If all the cars were electric, there would be no money for the roads.
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton
Cullerton said Illinois drivers would receive a refund for costs of gasoline taxes. Those taxes would be paid as usual by drivers not registered in Illinois.
State Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine, said the proposal would bring big change when a stalemate remains over the state budget. He said he understands what Culleton intends and that it could be best to go through testing in a pilot program.
“This one will probably require a thorough vetting,” he said.
The proposal from Cullerton would establish a commission to determine some of the plan’s specifics.