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Photograph: CC/Flickr/Ken Lund

New proposal aims to tax Illinois drivers by the mile

Written by
Clayton Guse

Owning a car in Chicago could soon become a bit more of a luxury. 

In an effort to help pay for more than $2 billion in road construction projects slated across the state this summer, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton is proposing to tax drivers by the mile. He told the Daily Herald that gasoline tax revenues are declining due to an influx of energy-efficient cars, saying, "If all the cars were electric, there'd be no money to fix the roads."

Under the proposal, Illinois drivers would pay 1.5 cents per mile driven on roadways. The tax would be enforced via an unspecified location-tracking device that would not charge drivers when they travel out of state or on Illinois toll roads. Car owners who have concerns with a government agency tracking their location can opt to pay 1.5 cent per mile at a base rate of 30,000 miles traveled per year (so $450 annually). 

If Cullerton's proposal does make it through the state legislature and past Governor Bruce Rauner's desk, it'd be quite a feat. After all, the state has gone nearly 10 months without a budget, and there's no sign of that getting solved anytime soon.

In any case, the move is a pretty direct shot at all of those environmentalists who are trying to save the planet with their electric cars—according to Cullerton they're ruining the state's revenue stream.

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