Assistant House Minority Leader Norine K. Hammond (R-Macomb) has signed on as Co-Sponsor of House Resolution 766, a resolution that voices opposition to taxing Illinois drivers per mile traveled. HR 766 was filed at the beginning of the regular Legislative Session in anticipation of new legislation that attempts to do just that.
In 2016, Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) proposed the new tax on miles traveled on public, non-tolled Illinois roads using GPS tracking technology and a Chicago Daily Herald article stated that the sponsor of the new tax wanted Illinois to be the first state in the union to make the changes statewide and that the concept is inevitable.
“The vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax would be particularly burdensome to downstate Illinoisans. We cover more miles here because our communities are rural. Whether it’s to work, school, or visiting family we log a lot of miles daily and that will cost us more than those in the city,” said Representative Hammond. She added, “It’s simply unfair.”
One previously proposed plan, which would impose a fee of 1.5¢ per mile driven, would report miles traveled on public, non-tolled Illinois roads by using GPS tracking technology in a smartphone app or a tracking device similar to the I-Pass (or EZ-Pass). With this tracking, individuals would be monitored to calculate how many miles were driven in Illinois each month. Another plan would impose a fee of 1.5¢ per mile driven, based on monthly odometer readings instead of GPS tracking technology, and another would plan would be a flat rate plan of an annual fee of $450.
Illinoisans currently pay over 34 cents per gallon in state and federal taxes for gasoline.