CHICAGO—The president of Illinois’ largest taxpayer organization today condemned the huge proposed increase in the state tax on gasoline put forth by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, calling the proposed increase unconscionable and obscene.
The outgoing mayor of Chicago and the mayors of Park Forest, Hazel Crest, Oswego, Fox River Grove, Joliet, Batavia, Broadview and Ford Heights called for the current 19 cent Illinois state gas tax to be raised to anywhere between an additional 20 cents to 30 cents. In other words these mayors are asking for a 105% to 157% gas tax increase for what has been described as “infrastructure” projects. The possible gas tax increase could be higher than the one passed by the 86th general assembly. The 86th general assembly presided over the great Tax Massacre of ‘89 where the gas tax was raised by 46%.
Mayor Emanuel was quoted as saying, “Our state can’t wait any longer” for the gas tax increase. According to Rahm Emanuel, “Over the last four years, we’ve been stuck in neutral and the states in the surrounding area — Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa just to name a few — have passed transportation bills with gas tax increases.” What Emanuel failed to mention was Illinois already pays higher gas taxes than most of its neighbors. If the 157% gas tax increase is passed, based on Tax Foundation research Illinois could rank in the top five U.S. states for highest gas taxes surpassing all of its neighbors.
“Rahm Emanuel, who presides over the most corrupt city in the country, located in the most corrupt state in the country, has the gall to propose a 20 to 30 cent per gallon increase in the state’s gas tax,” said Jim Tobin, president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “The city is technically bankrupt, and the state also is bankrupt, but he expects taxpayers to accept this back-breaking gasoline tax increase because they should trust him to spend the money on transportation projects.”
“80 percent of spending by local governments is for salaries and benefits of employees. To saddle Illinois taxpayers with more taxes is totally unacceptable.”
“At least 19,481 retired government-employee pensioners are receiving $100,000 or more in annual pension payments. That level of payout has increased about 15% over the 2017 pension payments. At this rate of increase, the number of pensions over $100,000 will far exceed 21,000 in 2019.”
“So many billions of dollars of state resources have been poured into these failing state pension funds, to no avail, that there is not very much left for other areas. Passing this harsh, regressive gasoline state tax increase only would encourage state politicians to continue their incompetent management of precious state resources.”