Could Illinois Drivers Get a Refund?

The state collected more than $170 million in increased fees

By Ivanna Hampton
|  Tuesday, Feb 1, 2011  |  Updated 7:00 AM CDT
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Could Illinois Drivers Get a Refund?

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The Illinois Supreme Court is holding the power to steer rebates into some drivers' pockets.

The state's high court is weighing whether to uphold or overturn an appeals court's ruling last week striking down Gov. Pat Quinn's $31 billion state construction program. The governor and lawmakers agreed in 2009 to tack $20 fee hikes on license plate stickers and renewing driver's licenses to help bankroll the construction costs, the Sun-Times reports.

The appellate court decided it was unconstitutional to boost the vehicle and liquor tax fees and expanding video poker to pay for borrowing.

The Supreme Court's next move could determine whether the Secretary of State's office must scramble to refund more than $170 million its collected since January 2010.

"Assuming the Supreme Court upholds the Appellate Court, we would need to find out who had overpaid, and we'd have to give that information to the comptroller and treasurer for them to get checks back to the people," said Dave Druker, a spokesperson for Secretary of State Jesse White

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