Cullerton Walks Back Plan to Charge Drivers Per Mile

Cullerton looked to replace the state's gas tax as a means to fund road construction projects

Senate President John Cullerton has announced that he would not move forward with legislation aimed at taxing drivers based on how many miles they drive.

Cullerton, who looked to use the plan’s revenue to fund road construction in the state, announced in a Facebook post Friday that he wouldn’t move forward with the bill.

“Thank you to everyone for weighing in on ideas for how to fund road construction in Illinois,” Cullerton said. “I filed legislation to start discussion and debate and get feedback on how the state could replace the gas tax.“

Illinois has nearly $2 billion of construction work planned for this season, including the $600 million Jane Byrne Interchange project that first began in 2013. The Illinois Tollways are also planning almost $1.2 billion worth of construction projects this summer.

Cullerton’s plan looked to shift funding for these projects from the gas tax, which has become a less fruitful source of tax revenue as cars have become more fuel-efficient.

Under the plan, drivers would have been given the option to put a device in their car that monitors their miles, or they could choose to pay a 1.5-cent-per-mile tax on a base of 30,000 miles traveled per year, which would be $450.

Critics of the plan voiced privacy concerns about the devices tracking mileage.

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