CHICAGO — The price of gas and cigarettes ticked up in Illinois Monday, as state officials aim to raise $45 billion to fund their road and infrastructure plan called "Rebuild Illinois."
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker says the plan is to repair what’s broken and build what’s needed.
"Frankly, it’s all in the name: 'rebuild Illinois,'” Pritzker said Monday.
The first gas tax increase since 1990 doubles doubles it from 19 cents to 38 cents a gallon, costing the average Illinois driver an additional $2.66 on gas when they fill up, according to estimates. Analysts with Illinois Policy say that's about $100 extra per year.
Gas taxes will be used to rebuild Illinois' roads and bridges over the next six years, officials say. Around $561 million is expected to go towards the Kennedy Expressway. Metra and the CTA plan to upgrade stations so they are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. There are also plans to overhaul Congress Parkway.
The CTA says it will also use the money to rebuild tracks, stations and cars. Around $60 million will be used to revamp the Cottage Grove station on the Green Line, and $31 million will be poured into O'Hare branch of the Blue Line.
“It will require people to be patient for sure but they will bear the fruit of that investment,” said Secretary of Transportation Omer Osman.
Illinois also joins a handful of other states raising the age limit for sales of cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21. The cigarette tax was also raised for the first time since 2012, and after the $1 hike, smokers will pay $2.98 in state taxes per pack. There's also an additional 15-cent tax on e-cigarettes.
The bump in cigarette tax revenues will go toward construction projects at public schools, including universities and colleges.
Officials say they're not sure when all this construction will start, or what will be prioritized first.