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Letter: Citizens deserve relief from gasoline tax

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Recently, I introduced legislation (Senate Bill 2790) to give Illinois families and businesses nearly $450 million in tax relief from Illinois’ sales tax on gasoline. 

Illinois is only one of seven states that levy a sales tax on gasoline in addition to a per-gallon tax. In effect, this tax is a tax on a tax, and is terrible fiscal policy.  Even worse, the sales tax collected on gasoline doesn’t even go to support road construction and maintenance, it goes to the State’s General Revenue Fund.

My plan calls for reducing the state’s 5 percent sales tax on gasoline, saving Illinois families and businesses hundreds of dollars a year. I believe that after Gov. Pat Quinn and the Democrats raised income taxes 67 percent in 2010, Illinoisans deserve some tax relief.

Additionally, part of the sales tax will be redirected toward a $1 billion infrastructure plan dedicated to repairing our failing roads and bridges. A recent report by the American Society of Engineers found that 73 percent of Illinois’ major roads are in poor or mediocre condition, costing $292 per motorist in extra repair expenses every year.  That same study found 2,311 of Illinois’ bridges to be structurally deficient.  

Lowering this sales tax will not only save families money, but will help those gasoline and convenience stores bordering other states with vastly lower gas taxes than Illinois.  We lose millions in sales taxes to border states when Illinoisans cross the border to buy lower priced gasoline, then purchase groceries and other items.

Finally, our state needs a top-to-bottom review of all taxes and fees that are currently leveled. This proposal is my first step at a comprehensive reform of the way we raise and spend tax dollars.

Kirk W. Dillard

Illinois State Senator  (R-Hinsdale)Candidate for Illinois Governor

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