July Brings Higher Gas Taxes, Cigarette Taxes, And More To Fund Road And Bridge Repairs In Illinois

Chicago News

CHICAGO (CBS) — Welcome to July and the reality you’ll pay more in taxes to generate money for Rebuild Illinois, the state’s first large-scale infrastructure program in 10 years.

The $45 billion capital plan is expected to repair roads and bridges across Illinois, and create more than 500,000 jobs.

The program would be funded by doubling the state’s gasoline tax, increasing vehicle registration fees, higher taxes on cigarettes and electronic cigarettes, a new state parking tax, and revenue from expanded gambling.

Starting July 1, the state’s gas tax will double from 19 cents to 38 cents per gallon, bringing in an estimated $590 million a year for the state, $400 million a year for local governments, and $250 million a year for transit agencies, according to the governor’s office.

The gas tax hike also gave Lake and Will counties the authority to charge up to 8 cents per gallon in local gas taxes. DuPage, Kane, and McHenry counties can raise their local gas taxes from 4 cents to 8 cents per gallon.

Any municipality in Cook County also now can levy a 3 cent per gallon gas tax.

Meantime, the state’s vehicle registration fees would increase from $101 to $151 a year beginning with 2021 registrations, and electrical vehicle registration fees would go up from $34 every two years to $251 every year. Truck registration fees will rise by $50 for vehicles 8,000 pounds and less, and $100 for vehicles 8,001 pounds and more. The increases in vehicle registration fees will generate an estimated $529 million a year in new state revenue, the governor’s office said.

A new 6% tax on daily and hourly garage parking and a 9% tax on annual garage parking will bring in $60 million in new state revenue.

A $1 per pack increase in cigarette taxes will create $160 million in new revenue, and a 15% tax on e-cigarettes would bring in another $10 million. Also note, beginning July 1, the age for purchasing tobacco products in Illinois now is 21 years old.

The state’s expansion of casino, video, and sports gambling would generate at least $350 million a year in new revenue, according to the governor’s office. The gambling expansion plan creates six new casino licenses, including one in Chicago, and allows for slot machines at horse racing tracks and at O’Hare and Midway airports – though only in private clubs beyond airport security checkpoints.

One major project that will be funded by the state’s capital plan is the Interstate 80 bridge over the Des Plaines River. Approximately $1.2 billion in funding is now budgeted for repairs on I-80 between New Lenox and Minooka, including the deteriorating bridge.

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