Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Car enthusiasts say vehicle miles traveled tax is a non-starter

Car enthusiasts say vehicle miles traveled tax is a non-starter, Metamora Herald

Car enthusiasts from around Illinois and beyond would rather see cuts and reprioritized spending than another tax, like a possible vehicle miles traveled tax, something they see as a nonstarter.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is doubling down on claiming his chief opponent, J.B. Pritzker, wants to tax vehicles by the mile. Pritzker denied he has a plan to do so during Thursday's NBC 5 debate, but he said at a forum last month he’s open to all ideas to find more money for roads.

Reports have said Illinois’ roads need billions more a year than the state is spending now just to keep up on upkeep.

Dale Sterns from Carbondale was showing his 1955 Ford F150 in Springfield at a car show this weekend. Asked what he thinks about new taxes for roads, he said “I think: Where do we start cutting?”

“Everybody wants to take and spend, spend, spend,” Stearns said. “I can spend your money and you can spend my money, but I don’t like to spend my money. Nobody wants to use the word ‘cuts.’ ”

On the idea of a vehicle miles traveled tax, Rauner said during Thursday's debate: “the General Assembly has proposed that to me every year that I’ve been governor and I’ve said ‘no.’”

After a search for such a measure for the 100th General Assembly, the only measures filed at the statehouse were resolutions opposing the idea of a user fee per mile driven.

Republicans proposed House Resolution 766 opposing any effort for a mileage tax. The resolution never made it out of the Democrat-controlled Rules Committee. A similar resolution in the Senate from two Democrats, Senate Resolution 1589, also never made it out of committee.

However, the idea of a vehicle miles traveled tax was floated in 2016 by Senate President John Cullerton. The 99th General Assembly Senate Bill 3267 would have taxed drivers 0.0015 cents per mile using a meter reporting system in passenger vehicles, but after opposition, the measure was abandoned.

Gene Miller from Momence was in Springfield for a car show with his Nova Custom he bought brand new back in 1971. He said he would never put a transponder in his cars to report to government.

“I would never put a box in my car to report back to the government,” Miller said. “That’s all we need is one more tax.

“A lot of people drive from our area to Chicago for work every day,” Miller said. “They’re driving up there so that they can survive and just two more fingers in their pocket, that’s got to stop sooner or later. You can’t expect the little guys to keep paying and paying and paying. That’s why everybody is leaving Illinois.”

Dan Williams visited Springfield from Iowa with his 1971 Chevelle convertible. He said such a tax would be a nightmare to keep track of.

“I have eight cars so it’s like, what are they going to do, take every one of them?” Williams said. “Some of them I drive 400 miles a year and some I drive 15,000 miles a year on.”

Williams also said taxing every mile would hurt those who commute long distances for their jobs.

originally published here:https://www.ilnews.org/news/state_politics/car-enthusiasts-say-vehicle-miles-traveled-tax-is-a-non/article_8ef51db4-bde3-11e8-96ea-ef2a800e4d84.html

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