Lawmaker proposes taxing Illinois residents for miles they drive

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Illinois lawmakers are considering a bill that would tax drivers by the mile.

It’s called “I-Ride" and under the plan the state would monitor car odometer readings or install devices that track miles driven on Illinois roads.

Residents would be able to opt out by paying a 1.5-cent-per-mile tax based on 30,000 miles per year.

This proposal is from Illinois Democrat John Cullerton, who points out that car tax revenues are declining in Illinois.  Cullerton says for Illinois motorists, the new fee would replace state gas taxes. Residents would get a refund on taxes paid at the pump.

The nonpartisan Taxpayers United for America blasted the proposal and is gearing up for a fight.

“It’s highway robbery,” said Jared Labell, director of operations Taxpayers United of America   “It’s highway robbery saying you owe $450 for just being a driver anywhere in Illinois or be tracked anywhere you go. With 14 years of budget deficits. Over $111 billion in unfunded liabilities, they’re trying to find money anywhere they can.”

Senator Cullerton’s office says people will embrace this new way of collecting revenue once they learn about the rebate on taxes at the pump. And they say they understand privacy concerns, that’s why they would create a special commission to monitor the vehicle tracking system.