Coalition wants to raise the state's gas tax for road work

Apr 2, 2014

Illinois' highway system could be headed for disrepair, but a coalition of business and labor leaders say they have a fix: raising the state's gas tax. 

The Transportation for Illinois Coalition says the tax, combined with raising vehicle registration fees and adding a sales tax on oil changes and auto repairs, would make for long-term, stable funding for road work. 

The coalition's Jennifer Morrison, says stable funding is key, unlike the 2009 infrastructure package that expires later this year. 

"Enable the Department of Transportation, local road departments throughout the state, and transit, to be able to count on this much funding coming in every year so that they can plan their repairs in an organized way, keep things maintained."

Morrison says under the plan, the state could create and maintain more than 24 thousand jobs, in addition to maintaining transportation ways. 

But those in the gasoline service industry worry that raising the motor fuel tax will cost businesses — especially gas stations along the state's borders. They say drivers will instead fill up across state lines, where gas is often cheaper.