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.
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.
— Fees for motorists: To support transportation-related projects, the bill increases license plate fees by $50 to $151 annually, starting with the 2020 registration year. It also raises a charge for electric vehicles to $248 per year from $35 for two years, starting Jan. 1.
— Smoking and vaping: The measure increases the state’s $1.98-per-pack cigarette tax by $1. Meanwhile, e-cigarettes would be taxed at a rate of 15%. Both of those increases would take effect July 1.
— Parking tax: As a source of funding for building construction projects, a 6% daily and 9% monthly tax would be imposed on garage and lot parking beginning Jan. 1.
— Online sales tax: The bill calls for expanding the sales tax collected on online purchases to more purchases made through remote, or out-of-state online retailers.
The capital plan also captures state revenues from expanded gambling and legalizing sports betting, to fund the building construction component of the large-scale public works plan, including projects at colleges and universities. The bill adds six new casinos, with locations including Chicago, the south suburbs, Waukegan and Rockford, and opens up O’Hare and Midway airports for slot machines. It also raises the tax on video gambling and legalizes sports betting, imposing a 15% tax rate.