Spending, Savings Fuel Gas Tax Proposals

Sep 10, 2013

Credit Amanda Vinicky

As gas prices rise and fall, there's one constant: however much you pay to fill your gas tank, it's taxed. Several proposals would change how.

In Illinois, gasoline is taxed twice.

"What we have in Illinois is a tax on a tax," Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo) says. "Which is just wrong. Because right now we get charged with the motor fuel tax. But then on top of that, they charge a sales tax."

Franks, sponsor of HB3666, wants to wipe that out that second tax, so drivers would no longer have to pay sales tax on gasoline and other fuels. It's happened before - the state temporarily lifted the sales tax on gasoline more than a decade ago, a move some viewed as a mistake. While it's popular with voters, it would mean less money for Illinois' already stretched budget. But Franks insists it's not an election year gimmick.

"I'm dead serious," he says.

So is a group that wants more money to be spent maintaining Illinois' roads and bridges. With HB3637 and SB2589, the Transportation for Illinois Coalition proposes abolishing the 19-cents-a-gallon motor fuel tax, and replacing it with a 9.5 percent wholesale fuel tax. That plan also calls for higher driver's license and vehicle registration fees.