Illinois proposes per-mile driving tax

Illinois motorists may soon be the victims of their own good behavior. Drivers in the Land of Lincoln have been improving their fuel efficiency and driving more hybrid and electric cars that lessen their reliance on gasoline. As a result, the state revenue from gasoline tax is falling.

With more than $2 billion in summer construction projects planned, state legislators are scrambling to find a way to pay for the road repairs. One prominent state senator proposes scrapping a tax on gas for state residents and replacing it by taxing drivers based on the distance they drive.

Residents would pay 1.5 cents per mile driven under a proposal made by State Sen. John Cullerton (D-Chicago). Mileage would be tracked and monitored by a transponder-like device installed in vehicles. Motorists who believe such a tracking device raises all sort of privacy concerns would have an alternate option of paying a flat $450 tax per year, or the equivalent of 30,000 miles driven.

This tax is insane. Why should people who drive gas powered cars pay extra tax because some people have drive hybrid/electric cars? Also since when is 30,000 miles a year the new average? I want to know how they are going to install this device on every car that is registered in IL.

If the proposal is adopted, Illinois drivers would get a rebate for gas taxes they paid at the pump. Out of state drivers would be stuck paying the gas tax, but wouldn’t pay the mileage tax.

Thanks, I didn’t see that.

Geez, now they want to put tracking transponders in our cars?!!

Im sure it would ONLY be used for tracking mileage though…(yeah right) lol

If this kind of thing ever happens, the first time a child is kidnapped, someone will suggest using the mileage tracker to find a particular car…everyone will rejoice how it brought the child home safely…WOW, its such a good idea, lets put transponders in people next, and so on and so on…

Tax per mile is one thing, but I dont think they need to putting tracking transponders on vehicles, I hope the courts would strike that down, there are better ways to determine mileage driven.

When taxes are this complicated, it comes with significant overhead. The right and simple answer is just to raise the gas tax for everyone.

Letting electric cars slide isn’t a problem since gubernment is still subsidizing/encouraging their adoption.

If they take the cost savings away with buying fuel efficient vehicles, people will stop buying them.

When it comes to most things, simpler tends to be better. Government loves to come up with fancy ideas on how to do something better that typically either ends up being a failure (e.g. League of Nations), becomes a waste of money, and/or tends to produce too much paperwork (hello IRS).

Having said that, I’m never a fan of the concept of charging per-mile, simply because it’s prohibitively expensive to enforce. For example:

  1. How do we determine mileage? A new agency, like the DMV, where you must go every so often to have your car mileage checked? And if someone fails to do so? That would require trying to educate the populace, a full-time staff, and a system for tracking/ensuring mileage is correct. Not feasible.

  2. (As in this bill), the Transponder/GPS tracking concept. This can easily be used to track a car’s every movement (as a phone can be used to track a person; might as well just use phones), and get rather precise information. But how to charge the owner? A yearly/monthly bill? Another tax return? And how do you avoid scammers sending mail asking for information stating they are the DMV or whatnot? And on top of that, will the government no longer need traffic enforcement officers? Since they can now see if you were speeding, or if you improperly reacted to a traffic control device (e.g. stop light).

  3. Keep using the gas tax methodology. Users are charged as the pump for what they are using. If a user doesn’t drive a gas-driven car, there are still plenty of ways for that user to end up paying the gas tax indirectly. Any store-bought and/or delivered item was probably brought by a fuel-guzzling vehicle, which needed gas (and therefore, needed to pay for the gas). That cost obviously is passed to the consumer in some way [obviously, this is true for all the above; however, this doesn’t require anything additional - we already have it].

  4. Tie it in more with property tax (A tax system we already have and use)? A property isn’t valuable if the road isn’t there…

  5. Decrease spending? Perhaps the not-so-obvious solution. But finding ways to save money regarding infrastructure would definitely be a methodology. I know in my city [Chattanooga], we spend quite a bit on public transportation that can’t pay for itself. Optimizing and requiring public transportation to be profitable will take an ease off the transportation budget. Similarly, especially with northern states, the reason infrastructure tends to cost too much is the winter tear and wear. A solution to the freezing and thawing [and plowing] of roads would go light years to easing the transportation budgets and decrease depreciation for existing transportation assets. There are possible solutions to this (e.g., stopping precipitation from reaching roads [as in, a canvas]; perhaps a heating solution to temperature-control the roads above freezing (avoiding the repeated freezing/thawing of roads and the collection of snow/ice on the street itself)). Of course, none of those help current roads.

Or as we had years ago in WA when the excise tax was insane: people registered in ID or OR. I can imagine IN and MI getting extra registrations.

If the gas taxes are supposed to pay for wear and tear on roads, wouldn’t it make more sense to charge you on how many miles (or how many roads you roll your heavy car over) you drive? Or does anyone have a better answer?

Of course this means that people who are lying to their insurance companies about how many miles they drive (lying is a sin) may also see an increase in their insurance premiums.

Oh, now I see what the problem is. Two increases.

Leave IL, before they institute an exit tax as well. :smiley:

So glad I left that place.

You ought to check out PA taxes. When I supported a nationwide payroll payroll system, over half our rules were for PA.County, school district, city hiring, firing, borough, state, water, etc. You name it, PA has it.

A gas tax is still the best way.

Trucks and heavy vehicles use more gas but also cause more wear and damage per mile driven. Lighter economy cars should pay less per mile since they cause less wear.

I’ll pass - I prefer to by my wine from non-government retailers! :D:D:D

Scratch Indiana off the list. We have a higher registration cost than Illinois, although it used to be much higher. The idea of heavily taxing the product of our #1 industry never really made sense, but before reforms the tax did not even go for transportation. The license bureaus were directly controlled by the political party of the governor. Now the tax is half what it used to be and the state actually gets the tax. Our gas tax is lower than Illinois. My last fill-up was at $1.449/gallon with a 40 cent discount from Kroger. That looks pretty good now since prices have skyrocketed in the last week. I am not complaining. I bought stock in some oil companies and made enough to buy a couple cars.

You could design a tax formula that included both the miles driven and the weight of the vehicle. Put scales at every gas pump. You might even charge a higher tax for fat people who contribute to both more emissions and greater wear on the roads.

It would be an extra complication, but that never seems to bother the people who write our laws. Complication creates more jobs for lawyers and accountants.

It probably is not the average but the Govt’s way of getting you to accept installing the device in your car.

“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” (Margaret Thatcher)

This is from the same State where the lunatic fringe (and it’s a rapidly growing fringe) on the recent teachers strike chanted “Rauner is a terrorist”. The State is broke, people don’t have the money, and the public sector employees are going to have to accept that.

That was the teachers in the Chicago Public Schools where only 11.6% of the children pass all four achievement tests for reading, English, math and science. Well done, teachers’ unions.:rolleyes:

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