JB Pritzker

Here’s What You’ll Pay More For as Lawmakers Approve New Taxes

The state construction plan aims to bring billions of dollars in new taxes and fees to fund it

Gov. J.B. Pritzker described this legislative session as "one of the most ambitious and consequential" in state history.

But what does it mean for you?

The Senate concluded action on a state budget and a far-reaching infrastructure improvement plan to wrap up the spring session two days past the scheduled May 31 adjournment date.

The budget pumps extra money into education and fully funds the state's onerous pension obligation. The state construction plan — not to mention the billions of dollars in new taxes and fees to fund it — provides funding permanency to what has been a feast-or-famine procedure.

Here's a look at what that means for you, should Pritzker sign the legislation:

What You'll Pay More For

Gasoline: The state's gasoline tax was doubled to 38 cents per gallon. Future increases would be tied to inflation but legislation ensures that the road fund where it's deposited can't be used for other purposes. This marks the first gas-tax increase since 1990.

Vehicle registration fees: Vehicle registration fees will increase by 50% to $150, lower than what Pritzker proposed. The measure also would charged electric vehicles $248 a year, a major increase from the current $35 every two years, the Chicago Tribune reported. 

Cigarettes: The per-pack cigarette tax will go up by $1 to $2.98. This includes electronic cigarettes, which will be taxed at a rate of 15%, the same as chewing tobacco. 

Parking: A tax of 6% daily and 9% monthly would also be applied on garage and lot parking passes. 

Trade-in property tax: Currently, a sales tax exemption is in place on trade-in vehicles at $10,000 or more. Meaning, if someone was trading in a vehicle valued at $15,000, they would only pay sales tax on the $5,000 that exceeds the limitation. That sales tax exemption will be removed under the new plan, but the limitation only applies to vehicles designed to carry no more than 10 people. 

Video gaming: The tax on video gaming will increase from 30% to 33% in 2019 and up to 34% for 2020. 

What about the graduated income tax?

The Legislature voted to send a constitutional amendment to the November 2020 ballot asking voters whether they want to switch from a flat-rate income tax to one based on income. If approved, the new scaled approach would take effect in January 2021.

In separate action, Pritzker was sent legislation establishing the rates should the new system be enacted. They top out at 7.99% for the state's wealthiest residents. Pritzker contends that 97% of taxpayers will pay no more than they do now because those earning less than $250,000 would pay, at most, the current 4.95% rate that applies to the flat tax.

What You Won't Pay More For

The plan rejected contentious taxes that were proposed, such as a real-estate transfer tax increase, a $1-a-ride fee for ride-sharing services and a 7% tax on cable, satellite, and streaming video services. But it now counts on hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue from legalized sports betting and casino expansion.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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