Did you know EdGlenToday.com is free for you thanks to our awesome advertisers? We noticed you're using an ad block software. Help us spread the word and give our sponsors some exposure by disabling your ad blocking service for Riverbender.com.
dir="ltr">Lawmakers appeared poised to vote on a bill that would more than double the state's motor fuel tax to pay for statewide transportation projects, but the plan stalled late Tuesday as negotiations continued.
Under state Sen. Martin Sandoval’s proposed legislation, the motor fuel tax would be more than doubled from 19 cents to 44 cents per gallon and indexed to inflation. That would mean the tax would increase each year with inflation, but that annual increase would be capped at a penny per year. With the sales tax included, the proposal would give Illinois the highest gas tax in the nation at more than 60 cents. Pennsylvania’s tax on a gallon of fuel is 58 cents. In addition, the bill would add a $1,000 annual registration fee for electric vehicles. The existing registration fee for electric vehicles is $17.50. Those registration fees would also increase with the rate of inflation every year, with caps set at 102.5 percent of the previous year’s total.
Click here for summary
Lawmakers had until earlier this month to call legislation and amendments in committee to get them to the Senate floor, but the chamber suspended those rules Tuesday afternoon so Sandoval could get the legislation out of committee.
However, Sandoval convened and then adjourned the Senate Transportation Committee in a matter of minutes without calling the legislation.
“Leader [Don] DeWitte is working with me very arduously to try and fashion another amendment,” Sandoval said after the hearing.
He said he expects the bill to be changed to scale back some tax hikes, notably the annual registration fee for electric vehicles.
Other changes in the legislation include a hike to the annual registration for motorcycles to $148, up from $98.
Commercial vehicles and farm trucks as well as farm implements of all sizes would see an increase of $100 for the annual registration, also subject to inflation increases.
Home-rule municipalities, typically those with more than 25,000 people, would be allowed to increase their own local motor fuel tax from up to four cents per gallon to a maximum of eight cents per gallon. A 4-cent per gallon tax would become the minimum for home-rule municipalities.
Small communities that aren’t home-rule would have the option to institute a motor fuel tax of their own of up to three cents a gallon as long as they agree to a “responsible bidder” ordinance that requires work they do using that new revenue is used to hire Illinois-based contractors and pay them the prevailing wage, essentially guaranteeing union labor is hired.
The legislation also includes language making any form of discrimination based on race, gender, or sexual preference by an employer, union, or public official a Class B Misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 6 months in prison and a $1,500 fine.
The proposed changes all appear to take effect this July, if approved.