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Mileage tax bill tabled - for now

Submitted by Jeff Rogers
Capitol News Illinois
updated: 2/26/2019 10:31 AM

SPRINGFIELD -- A bill that would test a mileage tax for vehicles driving on state roads has been tabled, but that doesn't mean it's dead.

Chicago Democrat Marcus Evans last week filed House Bill 2864, establishing a pilot program for a 2.1-cent tax on every mile a vehicle is driven on state roads.

But Evans tabled the bill Tuesday, Feb. 19, saying he wanted to send the message that he's not going to bring it back this session. "But if someone else wants to find a creative way to do that, then they can," Evans said.

As cars become more efficient and more people drive electric vehicles, many states are facing a significant decline in revenue from motor fuel taxes.

These taxes usually support roads, bridges and other infrastructure for vehicular traffic. The purpose of a per-mile vehicle tax would be twofold: to bring back the revenue to support state infrastructure, and to balance taxes to ensure every driver pays a fair share for using roads.

That said, Evans doesn't think it's the right time to legislatively consider a per-mile tax, although Illinois, along with the 27 states that have increased their motor vehicle tax in the past four years, still needs more infrastructure funding.

"This bill needs so much work -- why have it out there?" Evans said. "Let's just talk about the idea, and educate ourselves on what it is first. We can still have conversations, but not for bill purposes."

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