LOMBARD, IL – GOP candidate for Governor Kirk Dillard today called for the Illinois gas tax to be cut, claiming it would provide almost a half billion dollars of relief to the state's motorists. Dillard’s proposal, which he says includes a bond provision, would provides almost a billion for failing roads and bridges.
"This will save a typical family in Illinois nearly $200 a year while also putting people to work on road and bridge projects that are in dire need of repair," Dillard said. "We already pay among the highest gas prices in the nation, and this is really a tax on a tax. It’s just plain unfair."
According to Dillard, the proposal would reduce the 5 percent state sales tax on gas, while leaving the local government portion undisturbed.
Dillard estimates his proposal would provide approximately $450 million of taxpayer relief at the pump. “Families need a break, especially when the economy is this tough. This is money they can use for school supplies, new clothes for kids, and books,” Dillard said.
Under Dillard’s proposal, $100 million of sales tax revenue per year would be bonded, the proceeds of which would be dedicated to failing roads and bridges. Estimates suggest that the revenue stream could support up to $1 billion of infrastructure improvements.
Failing infrastructure has reached epic proportions. A recent report by the American Society of Engineers found that 73% of Illinois’ major roads are in poor or mediocre condition, costing $292 per motorist every year. The same study found 2,311 of Illinois’ bridges to be structurally deficient.
“It’s no surprise that Illinois got a D+ on its latest infrastructure report card. The proposal I’m announcing today is a first step toward turning that around,” Dillard said.
Dillard noted that Illinois is one of just seven states that charge sales tax at the pump. In Chicago, combined motor fuel taxes total more than 48 cents per gallon. In addition, counties and local municipalities impose their own sales tax. “It’s no wonder that the most frequently asked question I get around the state is why our gas prices are so high,” Dillard said.
On a typical gallon of unleaded regular gasoline sold in Chicago, motorists are charged a federal motor fuel tax of 18.4 cents, a state motor fuel tax of 19 cents, Cook County and City motor fuel taxes of 11 cents and Illinois environmental taxes of 1.1 cents all before any sales taxes are assessed. This makes gas prices in Chicago among the highest in the nation, which is why Dillard chose Chicago for his press conference.
“This is just the first salvo of tax relief and tax reform in the Dillard-Tracy administration,” Dillard said. “I intend to conduct a top-to-bottom review of each of our taxes and tax structure, with a blue ribbon commission comprised of business people, taxpayer groups, and affected citizens, to modernize our tax code and reduce taxes for families and businesses, large and small.”