SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Illinois lawmakers have introduced a bill that would double the state’s gas tax, making it the second highest in the nation if it passes.
State Senator Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) sponsored Senate Bill 103, which was amended to include a 19 cent per gallon gas tax to help pay for repairs to roads and bridges in the state.
Raymond Barney lives in Murphysboro, Illinois and said raising gas prices will hurt people like him who can only spend $5 or $10 at the pump each time.
“It’s already challenging and hard now so another 19 cents every time I fill up for every gallon, that is wild,” he said.
Chris Slone from Du Quoin, Ill. agrees that raising gas prices would negatively impact a lot of people who live in the state or travel through it.
“If you have a car, if you’re driving it’s going to effect you. You are going to feel it no matter what," Slone said. "If you are moving from just to work and back, if you don’t want to go to Missouri to fill up you are going to feel it. This effects everybody.”
The proposed gas hike could create $2 billion in extra revenue each year and would fund the Illinois Department of Transportation’s efforts to maintain and expand the state’s aging transportation system.
The last time Illinois’ voters raised the gas tax was in 1990.
While some say this would be a sustainable funding source, opponents think lawmakers should explore other funding options.
“It could be a worthy cause but at our expense?" Barney said. "If you all used the money the right way everything is going to go smooth because there is plenty of money being taken out already.”
“Certain places and parts need better roads and I totally get that," Slone said. "But I wish there was a vote because i would ask to take it out of a lot of other places than out of our pockets at the gas station.”
If the bill passes it could also raise fees at the DMV to register a vehicle or get a driver’s license.