Illinois lawmaker proposes taxing drivers by the mile

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SPRINGFIELD, IL (KTVI) - Some say a plan to tax Illinois drivers by the mile is highway robbery. The idea is being talked about in Springfield as a way to shore up funding for what some say is crumbling infrastructure.

A current proposal by the leader of the Illinois Senate would give Illinois drivers a rebate on the current fuel tax to make up for the tax they would pay for each mile. The reason for the plan is consumers are using less fuel. One factor is vehicles are more fuel efficient. The advancement have resulted in less tax money for the state.

The plan would tax drivers a flat rate of $450 dollars a year. That’s based on a 1.5 cent tax for every mile and a figure of 30,000 miles a year. If a driver feels they would travel fewer than 30,000 miles a year, they could have a monitoring device installed and pay 1.5 cents for every miles traveled. A separate monitor would determine when the vehicle left the state, so no out of state miles would be taxed.

Out of state drivers would not receive a rebate at the pump. They would pay the gas tax currently in place.

“I think it’s overly complicated,” said Marine resident Scott Calvin. “I think we get taxed enough. I think Illinois probably needs to get their budget under control.”

Other drivers we talked with say they want to know more about the plan. One taxpayer group has heard enough.

“It’s highway robbery saying you owe $450 for just being a driver in Illinois or be tracked everywhere you go,” said Jared Labell, Taxpayers United of America. “With 14 years of budget deficits, over $111 billion in unfunded liabilities, they’re trying to find money anywhere they can.”

Others believe the state is in desperate need of increasing funding mechanisms. They predict if infrastructure issues are not addressed soon, the Illinois economy will be hurt even more.

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