State Rep: Put Gasoline Taxes Toward Capital Construction Projects

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — An Illinois lawmaker has revived his idea to put gasoline sales tax proceeds toward capital construction projects, replacing controversial video gambling as a revenue source.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Alex Degman reports, state Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) says many lawmakers are uncomfortable with video poker machines, towns and counties are opting out of the law to allow them and the Illinois Gaming Board says they’re difficult to regulate.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Alex Degman reports

Dillard says the state brings in several hundred million dollars through sales tax on gasoline every year which could be used for construction projects.

“I throw it out there as an alternative. If you don’t like video poker, one easy remedy is to move the sales tax on gas into the road fund and construction funds, where it should have been all along anyway,” Dillard said.

This is not the first time Dillard has proposed the switch. In fact, he said he would rather get rid of the sales tax on gas altogether.

However, Dillard says that is unrealistic in the “real world of Illinois.”

The state’s $31 billion capital construction program focuses on video poker as a revenue source. The program was challenged last year, on the grounds that it improperly combined several separate issues in one piece of legislation, violating the state constitution’s “single subject” requirement.

The program was to raise $31 billion for new public works projects by hiking taxes on liquor, soft drinks and candy, increasing driver’s license and license plate fees, and through legalized video poker.

The Illinois Appellate Court struck down the program in January, following the challenge by Blackhawks owner and liquor distributor Rocky Wirtz. But the state Supreme Court later upheld the program.

  • Roberta Waker

    I agree with Dillard that the state’s sales tax on gasoline should be used for construction projects. Maybe then we won’t need to be taxed to death for infrastructure. I also think that with several hundred millions of dollars involved; why can’t the gasoline tax be reduced at least a little?

  • Centurion

    Cant’ be done. Those taxes are needed to keep money in the Illinois Teachers Pension Fund! Quinn and other cronies may have some lobbyist friends who will need a $250K pension in case they decide to teach school for 1 or 2 days.

    • LOTD

      LOL !!!!! Then again, considering your statement is true, it’s really not funny!

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  • Shelly

    Sure thing Kirk. We’re not spending that money now on something else, are we? It’s all just sitting in a big “lock box” somewhere and you’ve found it. Wow, new cape for you. Get real. This is a shell game and more of the same. It’s a ridiculous idea that doesn’t improve anything. Dillard needs to retire. These are the idiotic solutions that put us in huge debt to begin with. Go home Kirk

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