Mileage Tax Is A Terrible Idea

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A tax on the number of miles a person drives is a terrible idea for rural and downstate residents of Illinois.

That's why I filed Senate Resolution 1589 months ago firmly objecting to such an idea–even though there is no such plan pending in the legislature. Unfortunately, only one other state senator signed on to cosponsor the resolution–a Democratic suburban lawmaker. No Republicans opted to cosponsor or otherwise show support for the measure. A show of bipartisanship on the part of my downstate colleagues in the senate would be helpful.

Two years ago, a proposal was floated to track drivers with GPS technology and tax them based on the number of miles driven. The idea quickly fizzled for obvious reasons: privacy concerns, the financial burden on individual taxpayers, potential harm to Illinois' competitiveness and lack of support among lawmakers–myself included.

Residents in Montgomery, Macoupin, Christian and Madison counties by and large are opposed to a road usage tax. Many of us put a lot of miles on our cars every week to get to work, run errands, shuttle children to school activities, haul grain and more.We need to send that message to Washington, where congressional Republicans, led by Congressman Sam Graves of Missouri, are actively considering a national tax on vehicle miles traveled. Graves is an influential member of the U.S. House Transportation Committee.

I am urging you to do two things. First, call Republican state lawmakers and ask them to sign on to cosponsor SR1589. Then, contact your congressman and urge him or her to oppose the Republican plan for a national tax on vehicle miles traveled.

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