COPY-Quinn natural gas tax proposal far from simple


Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn wants to end a state tax on natural gas, providing financial help to people who use gas to heat homes and businesses that use it to manufacture.

But experts raise questions about how much that would help, damage it could do to the state budget and whether it's fair.

In his State of the State address, Quinn called the tax unfair because it's not based on the ability to pay.

The tax generated around $159 million last year. The money came from nearly 3.5 million residential customers, 250,000 retailers and over 10,000 businesses.

The Citizens' Utility Board estimates the average homeowner would save up $40 annually without the tax. But the Taxpayers' Federation of Illinois says it would do nothing for those who heat homes with electricity.

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