Mayor Emanuel calls for hike in gas tax to pay for transportation fix

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.  — Outgoing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the state's motor-fuel tax should be increased to fund highway and bridge improvements.

The Democrat and colleagues from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus said Tuesday the 19-cents-per-gallon tax should be increased by as much as 30 cents . The caucus represents 275 municipal governments in Chicago and its suburbs.

Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn called last week for an increase too. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's cabinet members says three-fourths of the state's bridges are in need of repair .

The tax has been the same since 1991. Consumers also pay sales tax on gasoline.

Emanuel is not seeking re-election next spring. His advocacy provides a boost to Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker. Pritzker has promised a multibillion-dollar construction program but no details on financing it.

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