New bill could tax IL drivers on every mile they drive

New proposal could mean IL drivers pay for every mile they drive
(Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Illinois drivers could be taxed on every mile they drive as early as 2017, if a state Senate bill moves forward.

The Illinois Road Improvement and Driver Enhancement Act could serve as a new method to funding Illinois' roads, John Patterson, spokesman with the Illinois Senate President's Office, said.

Illinois drivers would need to pick from one of three options:

  1. a location based meter that tracks how many miles are driven in Illinois
  2. a meter tracking your vehicle’s odometer
  3. or a plan that taxes a flat rate on 30,000 miles per year.

"Illinois currently pays for roads primarily through gasoline tax that hasn't been changed in 20 years," Patterson said.

Patterson said electric and more fuel efficient vehicles cause wear-and-tear on the roads, but they pay less for the roads than other vehicles.

"The gas tax becomes self-defeating," Patterson said.

Lizzie Prusaczyk of Benton, Illinois said this bill could have a huge impact on her everyday life.

"It's going to limit how much I can drive," Prusaczyk said. "Having to watch every mile I drive, in addition to how much I gas use, in addition to wear and tear on tires, in addition to everything that goes with taking care of a car, I'm not going to be able to drive much longer."

Dan Meadows of Du Quoin, Illinois is also against the new bill.

"Totally against, I mean obviously we're being taxed at the pump as it is," Meadows said. "They've figured out about every way they possibly can to tax us. And for those of us that drive a long way to work. I'm in medical sales. I do about 40,000 miles a year. Totally unfair."

Ross Guida said he isn't as concerned about the bill as much as Meadows and Prusaczyk are.

"I guess I don't drive that much and I'm not really worried about being tracked," Guida said. "I wouldn't mind it if it made my tax liability lower because I use the roads less."

A 10 cent per gallon increase to the gas tax would raise $600 million for the state's road system, a study by the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois found.

Senate Bill 3267 is assigned for a reading at a committee hearing Wendesday, April 12.

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