If you own a car, smoke or buy gas in Illinois you will be paying more: A look at what fees and taxes state lawmakers hiked – Chicago Tribune

Illinoisans will be paying more for gasoline, cigarettes and annual license plate fees to help pay for the $45 billion public works plan the General Assembly passed during the final days of its spring session.

Republicans and Democrats joined together in supporting the tax increases that will fund major upgrades to roads, bridges and transit, coined “Rebuild Illinois.”

Lawmakers this spring also passed a cornerstone of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s ambitious agenda — offering voters in 2020 a constitutional amendment that would allow the state to impose a graduated income tax, instead of the currently mandated flat tax.

If ratified by voters, the first-term governor has promised, the graduated income tax will afford some relief to the majority of taxpayers. Critics, however, contend that savings taxpayers could see from the proposed income tax adjustment will be eaten up by higher taxes and fees lawmakers passed this spring.

“We’ve worked hard in this session, in fact, to lessen the burden on many people across the state, and we’ll continue to look for ways to do that,” Pritzker said Sunday. “We also need to make sure people have good roads to drive on, that they’re safe in doing that. You know, we have billions, I mean $15 billion, of life-safety issues across the infrastructure. … So we’ve got a lot of infrastructure to take care of, we did the best we could.”

The Illinois Constitution’s “lockbox” amendment, approved by voters in 2016, requires that transportation-related revenue only be used for transportation projects and related costs.

The capital bill next heads to Pritzker for his signature. Here’s a look at some of the tax and fee increases that will pay for it.

— Gas tax increase: The state’s 19-cent-per-gallon motor fuel tax doubles starting July 1 under the plan. The gas tax last was raised in 1990 and would be indexed to future inflation increases. Municipalities in Cook County could separately levy a 3-cent-per-gallon motor fuel tax.


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