View as PDF Chicago—Last week, Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton (D-Chicago) proposed legislation that would have established a new tax on Illinois drivers per miles traveled on the state’s roads, but a burst of public outrage and fierce opposition to the plan stalled Cullerton’s new tax for now. Taxpayers United of America (TUA) immediately led the charge against Cullerton’s driving tax, labeling the proposal blatant highway robbery of Illinois taxpayers.
“Taxpayers are outraged that Sen Pres. Cullerton, one of the most powerful politicians in Illinois, wants to extract more tax dollars from them while he and his colleagues in Springfield are currently misspending billions of dollars and intent on squandering billions more,” said Jared Labell, TUA’s director of operations. Labell appeared on numerous television stations denouncing Cullerton’s new driving tax, including WGN Chicago, KHQA 7 Quincy, Fox 2 St. Louis, & WQAD 8 Quad Cities.
By Friday afternoon, less than forty-eight hours after the story broke on April 13, widespread denunciation from the public led Cullerton to back off of his support for the measure, commenting on his official Facebook page, “Thank you to everyone for weighing in on ideas for how to fund road construction in Illinois. I filed legislation to start discussion and debate and get feedback on how the state could replace the gas tax. I’ve received a lot of constructive feedback that will help shape future policies. I do not intend to move forward with SB3267.”
The proposed Motor Fuel-IRIDE legislation, SB 3267, sought to monitor car odometer readings or install tracking devices in vehicles driving on Illinois roads to tax motorists per miles driven beginning July 1, 2017. Drivers would have been tracked and taxed per mile or had odometer readings checked under the proposal, or if the very real privacy violations concerned drivers, then there was an option to pay a 1.5-cent-per-mile tax at a base rate of 30,00 miles traveled annually, totaling $450. Yet another monstrous government administrative agency – the Illinois Road Improvement and Driver Enhancement Commission – would have been created to oversee the system, as well as an entire bureaucracy to implement and execute Cullerton’s highway robbery scheme.
“People still travel to work despite layers upon layers of local, state, and federal taxes,” said Labell. “With Illinois in its tenth month without a budget and Springfield politicians eyeing taxpayers for a bailout, Illinois drivers revolted against Sen. Pres. Cullerton’s new driving tax scheme and won. For the moment, at least, SB 3267 is stalled, but like most failed legislation in Illinois, if the politicians are trying to tax someone or something, there’s a good chance that the Illinois General Assembly will attempt to pass the tax another way or at a later time. Illinois taxpayers must remain vigilant to see that these proposals are soundly defeated for good.”

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