By on May 13, 2019

tesla model 3

Like most states, Illinois hasn’t raised its gas tax in years, keeping it at 19 cents since the musically gifted year of 1990, and, like most states, Illinois needs cash for pressing infrastructure repairs. Illinois’ state gas tax joins a slew of other taxes, including income tax, that’s bundled into local pump prices, but one type of driver was able laugh at all the chumps lining up for dino juice.

The electric vehicle driver.

By virtue of their emissions-free powerplant, EV drivers side-step this area of taxation. Unfortunately for the Tesla owners of Cook County and other jurisdictions, those days may soon come to an end. A proposed law would see EV owners dinged $1,000 a year — their contribution to maintaining the roads and bridges their hefty EVs ply on a daily basis. As you’d expect, many are not happy.

Neither are conventional vehicle owners, however, as the proposal would more than double the state’s gas tax.

The proposal, an amendment to House Bill 391, passed the Illinois House Revenue & Finance Committee on May 9th and is currently making its way through the General Assembly. Proposed by Democratic Sen. Martin Sandoval of Chicago, the updated law would reportedly add some $2.4 billion a year to state coffers.

Driving (and just owning) a car in Illinois would become significantly more costly under the proposed law, especially for EV drivers. Right now, EV owners pay a $35 registration fee every two years; under the updated legislation, they would face an annual $1,000 registration fee. The thinking being that EVs don’t hover above the road, never touching its delicate surface with nasty rubber tires and road-hugging weight. Do your part, the proposal essentially states.

The proposal would also hike the state gas tax from 19 cents to 44 cents, with annual license plate registration fees rising from $98 to $148. If passed by the House and Senate, the new taxes and fees would come into effect on July 1st.

Selling EVs to Americans remains a tough job. The Chicago Tribune reports that, as of April, some 15,000 EVs were registered in the state, with Illinois ranking seventh in EV sales last year. One incentive for owning an EV was being able to avoid the raft of federal, state, and local taxes at the pump.

“Certainly, going from $17.50 to $1,000 in terms of registration, isn’t going to move the needle in the direction the industry is hoping,” Jeremy Acevedo, an analyst with Edmunds, told the newspaper.

The backlash from EV owners, advocates, and builders was immediate.

“The proposed fee increase is way too high,” said Citizen’s Utility Board spokesman Jim Chilsen. “It’s punitive, it’s unfair and it goes against Illinois’ transportation trends and needs.”

Tesla has spoken out against the fee hike, while electric upstart Rivian, which owns a former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois, called the proposal “unfair.”

“Imposing fees on EVs that are over 400 percent more than their gasoline-powered counterparts is not only unfair, it discourages promising new technology that will reduce our dependence on petroleum, reduce emissions, and promote the Illinois economy,” said Rivian spokesman Michael McHale

Tesla Model S owner Nicoletta Skarlatos called the proposal “outrageous.” The Chicago resident complained to the Tribune, “I thought Illinois was progressive and would want to encourage EV ownership.”

It could be argued that, with road and other transportation infrastructure projects in need of funding, Illinois residents and Chicagoans would have faced boosted taxation elsewhere, rather than at the pumps or DMV. When a government wants to get its hands on your wallet, it has no shortage of ways of sliding that slick palm into your jeans.

Of course, those opposed to the proposal could do what annoyed citizens have done for all eternity: sign a useless petition.

[Image: Tesla]

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125 Comments on “Illinois EV Owners Face Steep New Fee, Rage Against the Machine...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Drive your car on the roads, pay the tax. Works for me.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      funny, isn’t it? our ancestors had no problem paying taxes to build out our infrastructure, only to have their Boomer descendants put off maintaining it for decades, and then turn into grabby infants now that it’s in dire need of overhaul or replacement.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        Don’t just blame the Boomers, blame the kids they raised- the latchkey kids who grew up and became the helicopter parent generation and now give out trophies like they’re candy and expect free stuff for everything.

        Hehehehe

        But seriously, the road maintenance doesn’t come cheap. Gotta pay the piper, er, uh, gotta pay the ditch digger.

    • 0 avatar
      IBx1

      And if that electric car is a used Leaf that drives just 2,000 miles a year as a backup car?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Good question, and it’s one that I think states haven’t really worked out yet.

        I think the only way you’d have an equivalent to a gas tax for electrics would be a “wattage tax,” if you will. Easy enough if you’re using a public charger, but what if you only charge at home?

        But, yeah, the guy who owns a “beater” Leaf that’s driven lightly shouldn’t get to duck out on taxes any more than a guy who owns a ’05 Corolla beater.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        The solution is very easy- if the state has an annual inspection, they capture mileage at that time and you pay a tax dependent on that and your GVWR. There’s no logical reason someone driving a Leaf 2,000 miles/yr should pay the same road use tax as someone driving a Chevy Express 20K miles/yr.

      • 0 avatar
        Oberkanone

        Sales Tax
        Excise Tax
        Toll Roads
        Wheel Tax
        Registration Tax
        Infrastructure Fee tacked onto registration
        Gasoline Tax

        These are some of the taxes and fees Indiana vehicle owners pay. For every vehicle, even a motorcycle driven only for a few hundred miles on pavement a year. There are individuals living in Indiana that register their vehicles in Michigan or Illinois to avoid the taxes.

        If Illinois raises their gasoline taxes this drastically there will be constant mob of Illinois drives sucking the gas stations dry in Indiana border areas.

      • 0 avatar
        b534202

        Then it makes more financial sense to sell the Leaf and just rent a car when back up is needed.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        As the owner of a Leaf that was 4500 bucks and my kid drives like 3000 miles a year I can honestly say I’d sell it and buy him the most b!+chin third gen Camaro I could find. He’s paying me back for the LEAF. Id probably give him the Camaro just to thumb my nose at the idiots.

        Alabama does have an EV fee as of this year. It’s like 200 bucks. I’m fine with that. After all, the car does drive on the roads. But paying roughly 25 percent of the purchase price every year? Pass. Ironically there were still several EV owners screaming about it in the local media.

    • 0 avatar
      tekamul

      Yes, that’s the right approach. However, if you compare the fee proposed to gas taxes on a 32mpg car, using the new 44 cent rate, a 12,000 mile EV driver is paying 6 TIMES the tax.
      Somebody in the IL capital is either terrible at math, or has a personal vendetta.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @FreedMike: “Drive your car on the roads, pay the tax. Works for me.”
      — And if you were the EV driver paying 5x more than an ICE driver to travel the same distance? Would it still work for you?

      • 0 avatar
        civicjohn

        @Vulpine, how do you come to that multiple? I haven’t seen a road tax on my electric bill, like ever.

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          Someone driving a car that got 33mpg about 15k a year would spend $200/year in tax at the proposed $0.44/Gal.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Maymar: My point exactly. Why should a BEV that gets the equivalent of 80mpg pay $1000/year? Granted, your example of 33mpg for 15K miles is also paying less than it should, so it, too, is taking advantage of the current taxing policies but if that car is paying $200/year, why should the BEV pay 5 times that amount?

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @civicjohn: My point exactly–you shouldn’t see one, though several here and elsewhere have mentioned that’s where the mileage tax should be placed.

          However, the point is that all vehicles should be counted and taxed identically, no matter the state. Sure, this would actually reduce gas prices in many states by significant amounts but cars and trucks of all types would be taxed on actual usage, not some arbitrary flat figure that charges many times what the gas tax currently charges in that state.

          • 0 avatar
            civicjohn

            @Vulpine, glad I understood your point. I’m all for realistic taxation, but at some point I think some would agree that too much of the existing gas tax has already been spent by our wonderful representatives on other things.

            Sure, make it an annual tax based on mileage and EPA rates, but I’m afraid that much of that ship has sailed. The drunken sailors have already uncorked that keg, never to come back.

            It was rather amusing to watch the NYC Mayor today rolling out his Green “building” taxes. I’d like to see him do that. I have a bit of experience in that while I live in TN, my company has had offices in Times Square and Burbank, CA for 16 years and both cities have done everything they can do to run companies out.. The rent, insurance, and employment costs are through the roof, and I saw today that the film/ post industry is being asked to withdraw from GA because of a recently signed abortion bill. It matters not what my position on the issue is, that’s why we have elections. 92k jobs at risk in GA. That’s just crazy.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @civicjohn: Former Tennesseean myself. Most of my life, really, though I’ve spent years in Germany, Nevada, Colorado and now Maryland. As for politics, both sides tend to be liars. Sure, Democrats tax–they have to pay for what the Republicans spend. That’s the way it’s been working for at least the last 40 years. At least the Democrats HAVE been able to balance the budget and even show a surplus… once.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        No, but my point was that as things stand, EV owners aren’t paying anything.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “Drive your car on the roads, pay the tax. Works for me.”

      I agree! Owners of ICE cars pay a hell of a lot more each year in fees and taxes than the paltry $1000 these EV owners are complaining about.

      Hey, how about the federal gas tax for the highway fund, and all the other taxes and local levies owners of ICE cars have to suffer?

      I say, Sock it to them EV owners/drivers!

      This has nothing to do the type or method of propulsion, and everything to do with the wear and tear of the roads.

      And I say, also levy KWh taxes on the charging stations.

      • 0 avatar
        civicjohn

        @Highdesertcat, many TSLA shareholders paid much of their tax today…

      • 0 avatar
        EGSE

        @HDC “I say, Sock it to them EV owners/drivers!”

        So you’re saying the purpose of government is to use its powers to “sock it to them”….and you advocate that.

        “Owners of ICE cars pay a hell of a lot more each year in fees and taxes than the paltry $1000 these EV owners are complaining about.”

        Last year my Civic drove ~9000 miles at avg. 35 MPG = 257 gallons
        Maryland fuel tax @ $0.353/gal + Fed fuel tax @ $0.184/gal = $0.537 per gal total X 257 = $138

        Two year registration = $135 (which everyone pays) /2 = $67.5/year
        Emissions 2 years at $10 /2 = $5.00/year

        Total $210/year

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @HDC: Outside of gasoline tax, which taxes are they avoiding? One… Those that qualify for the EV tax break get an UP TO $7500 break on their income tax, those cars are still registered and owners pay sales taxes along with all the other registration taxes and fees. And that income tax break is a one-time only fee unless you buy multiple EVs that qualify for that break. That tax break is not enough to pay for most current EVs on the road, especially when you consider that at least three different brands no longer qualify for that tax break.

        And yes, your argument is prejudicial against EVs, unless you’re willing to agree that ALL vehicles should be taxed in the exact same manner and eliminate the fuel tax itself.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    IL needs to declare bankruptcy. The politicians have spent the state dry. But there is no bankruptcy provision for states.

    Once the Chicago machine came to dominate the state legislature, all hope of reform was lost. People are leaving as a result.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    It’s perfectly reasonable for EV owners to pay a fee that is equivalent to what gasoline car owners pay in gas tax. If the gas is indeed changed to 44 cents a gallon, then something like $150 per year would be reasonable. $1000 is punitive.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Question is, how do you do an equivalent to a “per gallon” tax on electricity, especially if you’re generating it yourself with solar panels on your roof?

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        The simplest way to normalize this across different types of vehicles is a carbon tax. If you’re generating electricity with solar panels on your roof, then the state should thank you for not producing the negative externalities produced by an ICE.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Well, it’s awfully nice that folks with solar panels have a smaller carbon footprint, but they still use roads, and the roads have to be paid for. Doesn’t solve this problem.

        • 0 avatar
          Joe Enrico

          this is about wear and tear on the roadways not some issue with GW

        • 0 avatar
          2manycars

          There is no legitimate reason for a carbon tax. CO2 is not a pollutant, despite the incessant wailing of the Climate cultists. (In fact the earth was much warmer and had CO2 levels much higher at various times in the past.)

          Perhaps you would prefer that we were closer to the near plant-starvation levels of CO2 reached during the last ice age. (We’re only a few hundred PPM or so removed from that level today.)

          “Carbon tax” my *ss.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            2manycars, Of course there is a legit reason for carbon taxes. It’s called virtue signaling.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “Question is, how do you do an equivalent to a “per gallon” tax on electricity, especially if you’re generating it yourself with solar panels on your roof?”

        — First off, you shouldn’t put that ‘per gallon’ tax on electricity unless you can meter every single charger separately from a home or business meter. The most efficient manner would be to convert the price-per-gallon rate down to price per mile–which, depending on the vehicle–comes down to 1¢ per mile or less. (Ok, big trucks might run more along the lines of 4¢/mile.) This way, each and every vehicle pays based on how far they actually travel based on the size and weight of a vehicle instead of a flat rate that punishes the vast majority of EV owners that only drive around the national average mileage of 12,000/year. Only someone driving more than 60K miles per year would be paying their fair share.

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          The gas tax isn’t entirely fair either. My commute is all surface streets, and is about 12 miles each way. About 7 of those 12 miles are on a four lane road that is designated as a state highway, meaning it’s eligible for state highway assistance for its upkeep. The other five miles are on surface streets, which were built and are maintained using county and city funds. Other people’s commutes involve expensive limited access highways, which are paid for by state and federal fuel taxes. They get a much better value for their gasoline taxes than does a person who only uses surface streets.

          If fairness is a concern, it would make sense to add a toll to limited access highways.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    A bit of a harsh penalty, but anyone who’s driven across Illinois’ toll roads, won’t be surprised . They’re cash strapped and like to take it out on drivers.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    A bit of a harsh penalty, but anyone who’s driven across Illinois’ toll roads, won’t be surprised . They’re cash strapped and like to take it out on drivers.I think they have a new tire tax as well in Chicago zip codes.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    The average ICE car driver will be looking at $388/year in state gas taxes and fees. On the other hand, gas prices also include federal highway taxes, bringing the average to $488.36 per car. Throw in the additional mass of EVs relative to equivalent gasoline cars and the dent they make in the public coffers through subsidies, and a grand a year is probably still light.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      A grand a year is probably about right, but all of this grand is going to the state and none of it to the feds.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @JimC2: That amount is roughly 8.3x too high when based on average mileage. If a pickup truck making 20mpg combined mileage travels 12,000 miles, you get 600 gallons used. 20¢ x 600 gallons (20¢/gallon) comes out to $120 per year. BEV drivers are being told to pay far, far more in road taxes than their ICE equivalents.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      State rates vary, Todd, but my calculations suggest that $1000/year is grossly above what the typical ICE driver pays in combined gasoline taxes, by no less than 100% and in many cases by as much as 400%.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        We’re talking about Illinois, where the gas car is taxed at 44 cents a gallon plus $148/year under the proposed legislation and another 18.4 cents a gallon federal highway tax. That makes for about $500 in road use fees a year for an average car driven an average number of miles and rises considerably for personal use trucks that weigh as much as Teslas. EV owners had no problem putting their burden on ICE car owners. The problem with playing along with divide and concur is that sooner or later it is your turn to fall. You won’t catch me defending an EV driver’s right to anything.

  • avatar
    56BelAire

    “Two things in life are certain….death and taxes”……Ben Franklin.

    As far as roads go, I have lived in the mountain west for 10 years and roads are generally very good. Just returned home from a trip back to my old home state of New Jersey. I was shocked at the poor condition of virtually all the roads from highways to suburban streets.

    It’s funny how the states with the highest taxes have the worst roads.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      probably because they also have the *most* roads to maintain. I’m sure it’s a lot cheaper out in BFE where most of the non-main roads are dirt.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Urban highways cost a lot to maintain, and I’d guess few states have a greater percentage of those than New Jersey.

        The inevitable Jersey political graft also factors in, though.

      • 0 avatar
        56BelAire

        “probably because they have the *most* roads to maintain”

        Uh no. NJ is a tiny state area wise ranking around 40th. The mountain west states have areas 5x-10x the area of NJ….all ranking in the top 14. They all have many more miles of roads than NJ….BFE is great my only regret is staying in NJ so long before I woke up. The quality of life here in BFE blows away New Joisey.

        The real problem in NJ is a legacy of corrupt politicians who in concert with public union leaders destroyed the state…..Hundreds of thousands of state workers with huge pensions siphon away billions that could be used for roads and highways. I’ll let you guess which political party the vast majority of the “corrupt politicians” belonged to…..

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Gotta make some popcorn to follow this one!

    Let’s see… the average econo car uses about 500 gallons a year (let’s say 15,000 miles at 30mpg). At $.19/gal that’s about a hundred bucks a year. Even if the state bumps the gas tax up to $.44/gal, I can sure see why the electric car people are super mad about the idea of forking over a Cleveland once a year!

    (clicking sounds of the TTAC B&B googling who is on the thousand dollar bill, hehe)

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      Grover Cleveland (had to look it up).

      Coincidentally, my father–who’s old enough for this to have been a thing–once had to arrange for a very eccentric client to receive a payment from a trust. The payment was $17,000 and had to include a $5,000 bill and a $10,000 bill. Dad knew off the top of his head that Salmon P. Chase is on the $10,000.

      Apart from federal employees and collectors, I imagine virtually no one under the age of 80 has ever had cause to handle those denominations.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        That anecdote gave me a chuckle. Yep, for anyone under the age of 80, the closest thing to the big bills is the $500 bill in Monopoly.

        (Speaking of the obscure, I can’t help but notice you used an en dash where I believe an em dash would have been grammatically proper… chuckle…)

  • avatar
    jh26036

    This is something that can be calculated via an annual inspection. Delta in miles year to year. Apply something like 2 cent per mile. Pay inspection station directly to get sticker.

    • 0 avatar
      cbrworm

      This is a solution that makes sense. Pay for actual miles traveled. The solution SCE to AUX proposed makes more sense, taking additional factors into consideration, like how much damage are you doing to the road.

    • 0 avatar
      jtk

      In Illinois specifically, we don’t have an annual inspection. The closest thing is an emissions test, and the state has whittled those test sites down to very few. So there would be a big cost in getting an annual inspection infrastructure up and running.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I like it, but what to do when most of the people using your roads are from out of state? I live in the DC area, and most of the people who drive into the city from work are coming from Maryland or Virginia. Essentially, they’ll be paying for roads back home when a significant chunk of their mileage is accumulated elsewhere.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Eliminate all pump taxes, and replace it with the following tax paid annually, or monthly:

    Tax = GVWR x miles

    This way, everybody pays according to usage.

    By the way, imagine the outrage if drivers had to submit a separate payment at the pump for the gas tax today. Here in PA, you’re paying $15 in taxes just to fill up a midsize car. But everybody’s OK with the invisibility of such taxes. Same goes for automatically deducted payroll taxes.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      “Tax = GVWR x miles

      This way, everybody pays according to usage.”

      Oh man, the teamsters would not like that!

      We’d see a return of odometer tampering. (In a lot of cars, it’s easy to just disconnect the speed sensor and do without.)

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Not as easy as you think. An EV would have multiple sensors monitoring hours driven, wheel RPM and other factors which would easily give a fairly accurate estimate of miles driven. Worse, disconnecting the “speed sensor” would effectively disable the entire vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          What you’re describing would get the libertarians and small government people riled up.

          On the other hand, the helicopter parent generation, who seem to love legislation for backup cameras and various other electronic nannies, would probably welcome this technology.

          I’m not trying to turn this into a childish argument, I’m just pointing out the other side of things (and having a bit of fun in how I phrase it). I do understand the difference between what *I* would like, what other people would like, and whatever eventually becomes of the new car market.

          You’re right though- a car that measures its miles driven with multiple integrated sensors would defeat most odometer tampering by shade tree hackers.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      Further edit (can’t edit my original comment)

      Don’t get me wrong- I think the concept is worth looking into. Those are just a couple of reasons I can think of that are arguments against it.

      Also, the people who celebrate getting a big income tax return would be the same ones who would dislike this annual bill the most… which is funny and sad at the same time.

      Logically, it *should* work- for example, homeowners get one annual property tax bill that is a thousand or thousands of dollars. On the other hand, mortgagers (borrowers… really homeowners-to-be) have monthly escrow payments that they certainly pay attention to and budget for, but the tax burden is spread out over twelve months. And on the other other hand, renters usually convince themselves that they don’t pay property taxes because, why, the landlord pays for that!

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Good idea in theory. My question is this, though – how do you track the usage?

      Is it monthly or annual? Is it self-reported or does someone at the DMV have to check your odometer?

      Part of the reason why people like the “invisible” taxes is that they don’t add much hassle.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        @FreedMike: The states would have to require annual self-reporting of the miles on the vehicle. In PA, that’s already known through annual safety inspections and reporting to the insurance carriers.

        Payments could be via the state DMVs.

        Unlike school taxes, this would be a real usage tax. A true alternative is to turn every road into a toll road, which isn’t feasible. I’m no fan of taxes, but a crumbling infrastructure has to be paid for by *somebody*, and it’s best paid for by those who cause it to crumble.

        The problem (of underfunded roads) isn’t just for EVs, either. Rising CAFE numbers have been strangling road revenues for years.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Self reporting sounds like a really good way to cheat the system unless a state has annual safety inspections, and many (the state I live in) don’t.

          In the case of states without an inspection, you’d probably have to have the DMV come out and eyeball your odometer, or you’d have to take it to a third party (like a mechanic) and pay them to do it.

      • 0 avatar
        285exp

        Tesla’s certainly have the ability to report the miles driven directly to the taxman, and I don’t see why any other EV maker couldn’t do the same thing. Simply have the cars automatically report at whatever interval desired and bill at whatever rate per mile that the moneygrubbers invent out of thin air, let’s say based on 25 mpg. So, if you drive 1000 miles per month, 1000 miles/25 mpg = 40 gallons x $.44 gallon = $17.60 per month, or $211.20 per year.

        If the have to pay a bit more than an ICE vehicle, that’s ok by me. An ICE car that gets 35 mpg would pay about $150 for those same miles, and they don’t weigh as much as the EV and there should be a smug tax of at least $50 a month on EV drivers.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Driving fifty feet down a freeway with a mining truck carrying a grading dozer, puts more wear on roads than a million times as much driving with a vehicle weighing only a few percent of that.

      Road wear doesn’t increase linearly with weight.

      Also, even if noone drove on them, roads would still deteriorate….

      And, roads deteriorate even if the above mining truck driver lives across the state line, and only commutes into Illinois…..

      Of course, only Singaporeans are crazy enough to get into every little detail of ABC costing and charging for road use. But a base fee for simply having a car, combined with a mileage fee times weight squared, and some gas taxes, as well as taxes on roadside charging stations, would get you at mostly close. As long as you have to register cars and go through mileage inspections anyway, you’re not really adding to the spying.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Agreed on the calculation nuances. My “GVWR x miles” is merely a starting point.

        I don’t understand the tax on roadside charging stations. EV drivers pay for them with each use. As for Tesla, Tesla pays for their own infrastructure – they’re not given the space for free.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    That fee should be based on actual miles driven rather than a flat rate. That rate is roughly equivalent to an ICE drinking roughly 5000 gallons of gas over one year–or about 100,000 miles.

    • 0 avatar

      In what state was the mileage driven? In southern New England, I could live in Connecticut, travel through Rhode Island to my job in Massachusetts. I could be laying most of those miles down in Rhode Island. Same for Maine, New Hampshire + Massachusetts.

      Electrics could have mandatory GPS systems that upload to “The Cloud” in states that want to tax like this. Once a year the state taps the data and sends you a bill for your in state movements.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Now you’re talking like a Class I railroad, where any ‘foreign’ motive power or railcar of any type pays so much per day that it spends on any road not its own. (i.e. if NS has any of its engines or owned railcars on CSX, for instance, they pay a set fee per engine and a different fee per car for every day those engines or cars rest on CSX rails– even if it was only for one mile, if it was scanned by a yard’s car counter. All four Class Is do this, as well as charging any private owner a similar rate (like Tropicana refrigerated cars or Dow’s tankers.)

        Oh, and the system is quite fair; it doesn’t matter what type of car or locomotive it is, if it is not actively leased by the ‘host’ railroad, the owner of the car or locomotive is billed daily until it returns to ‘home’ rails.

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      @Vulpine, and that fee would probably be unaffordable by at least 50% of those who cannot afford another tax when they run their ride through emissions (thought about that because my son is home from college and had to get his emissions check today).

      “What’s the down payment and my monthly?” (NOT what I taught my kids).

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Seems like a flat road tax fee might be the answer. Eliminate the at the pump tax completely and charge a flat fee based on weight at registration. Obviously the heaviest pay the most.

    This way the dont tread on me conversation is eliminated regarding mileage driven as well as minimize the odo tampering as well. The Saturday car or seldom driven car is the loser in the equation. $250 for a car, $350 for a truck so and so forth or whatever the tax equivalent is.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    IL already has some of the highest taxes in the country. You would think that would cover the basics, like public safety and roads. You would be wrong. This money will go right into the maw of the public employee unions and the associated political graft machine. It is hilarious that people think it is going to the roads.

    Taxes in IL are massive, but the debt is constantly growing and the piper will eventually have to be paid. In the meantime, keep thinking this new tax is about fairness. Next, they will tell you they need money “for the children.” Don’t you care about the children?

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      What you’re missing is that Illinois has a lot of old obligations.

      Politicians have been underfunding things (like employee pensions, and road maintenance) and kicking problems down the road for decades in order to keep the taxes low and to avoid antagonizing the Republicans who inhabit most of not-Chicago, hoping generations would be smarter than they are and would figure out how to deal with it.

      Now, it’s a future generation, and it’s time to deal with it. We have tons of deferred maintenance, and an outdated employee pension system which has been running a huge deficit for decades. If our politicians had manned up and dealt with back when I was a toddler (I’m 40 now), we wouldn’t have these problems. But that’s not what happened, so now we’re “future generations” and Pritzker is more to solve the problems than Rauner’s cut & obstruct tactics ever did.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Wanna bet the state maintained roads will be worse, not better, in 10 years?

    Every taxpayer in IL who is not a public employee union member or a politician is just a donkey delivering money to those who are.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      That’s overly dramatic.

      Illinois is a much better state to live in than Virginia (where I grew up).

      Yes, the taxes are a little higher, but the quality of life is much higher here than the rural backwater where I grew up.

      The state government has kicked the can down the road for decades and, to mix metaphors, the chickens are coming home to roost. But it’s a solvable problem — it’s just that ideological Republicans (and there are almost as many of them here as in other states) don’t like the solution very much. We already tried it their way with Rauner, so now it’s time to move on and try something else.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        Oh Luke, the Dems have controlled the purse strings in Illinois for the last several decades. I’m all for blaming Reps in red states, but let’s stop the nonsense of blaming them in dysfunctional deep blue states like Illinois.

        The Dems have screwed up IL 20 ways to Tuesday. This vehicle tax nonsense is just the latest example on top of selling off parking meters to a consulting company. The foolishness in Illinois is a bottomless pit. Hey, at least it’s biggest city has low crime and great schools, amirite?

  • avatar
    EGSE

    Wow, $2.4 billion. For fiscal 2018 the unfunded pension liabilities alone rose to $133.5 billion. That will pay it down in “only” 55 years.

    Christ on a bike people, being happy that EV owners are getting fuked is ignorant. This isn’t about cars or roads. It’s about scumbag politicians with no balls buying votes with give-aways. And the citizens of Illinois need to own up that they did it to themselves.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Exactly. The public employee pensions will suck up every new dollar until the crash. Agreeing to raise taxes for ANYTHING in IL means that you are just a fool and a mark. Call the next one a “Save the Homeless Orphans” tax. See how many idiots nod and reach for their wallets.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      “And the citizens of Illinois need to own up that they did it to themselves.”

      The area where I live has increasing traffic problems, especially along a four lane thoroughfare that is geographically choked (really no room for more lanes, a bypass route, nor any other conventional options). It’s a bedroom community with little planning, lots of neighborhoods with only one or two ways out and not interconnected, very few sidewalks, and the shops and daily necessities are centrally concentrated along the thoroughfare. There have been a lot of new houses built in the last twenty years and of course the builders had to pay only nominal “impact fees” to the local government at the time of construction. Sounds like a lot of places in America, doesn’t it?

      Naturally, many residents take to social media to shake their virtual fists in cyberspace and complain about the traffic, oblivious to the fact that—having chosen to live in a new-build mcmansion, in a neighborhood where *everything* is too far away for walking, instead of an existing home in a mature neighborhood—they *are* the traffic.

      Just as the citizens of Illinois, they did it to themselves.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    I support fuel taxes.

    The more fuel you use, typically, the more wear you put on roads.

    However, fuel taxes should go EXCLUSIVELY to maintaining and repairing roads, perhaps also building new ones.

    One would think it’s easy to ask some one in state govt:

    1. How much did the state spend on
    a. Road maintenance
    b. Road repairs
    c. New roads

    2. How much did the state collect in
    a. Motor Fuel Taxes
    b. Registration Fees

    And proceed accordingly

  • avatar
    Garrett

    EV drivers tend to be affluent, so this is really an example of Progressive taxation.

    Since I don’t live in IL, I encourage them to move forward with the idea. Other states can then observe the impacts and decide accordingly.

    • 0 avatar
      jh26036

      Lolwut, not all EVs are priced like a Model X.

      • 0 avatar
        Garrett

        No, but the only metropolitan area in the US where the average wage earner can afford a new car is the DC area.

        People that are currently paying the prices for electric vehicles are paying a premium for a smaller, less capable vehicle than the gasoline equivalent — a behavior typical of people who are more affluent.

        In contrast, older, less fuel efficient vehicles are far more often to be found in lower income households.

        So let’s give it a shot, and by “let’s”, I mean “they should”, and we can observe.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      And with a $1000 annual fee, you can bet that EVs will definitely stay within the province of the wealthy. Don’t look for any kind of significant increase in EV instrastructure, either.

      So much for widespread, mainstream EV acceptance, at least in Illinois.

      • 0 avatar
        Garrett

        Why is the goal electric vehicle acceptance? That’s like saying that the goal should be a particular solution, instead of what people are trying to solve.

        In the case of Illinois, they need tax revenue. Badly. The $1000 fee helps get them there.

        They can worry about one type of vehicle over another once they get their affairs in order.

        • 0 avatar
          EGSE

          In the case of drug addicts, they need their fix. Badly. The $1000 they’ll take from you helps them get there.

          They can worry about getting clean once they get their fix in order.

          The problem is not that they’re collecting too little tax, it’s that they’re spending too much money. Money they don’t have and have no hope of realistically getting. As I pointed out in another post the unfunded pension obligations were ~$133.5 billion at the end of 2018 while this move is projected to yield $2.4 billion per year. This “solution” is no solution at all; it ignores the root cause of why they’re in the financial straits they’re in.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            Voters don’t want to hear the truth. The truth is that they’re living beyond their means because the people they voted for threw them under the bus.

            IL with it’s foolish voting population earned this.

  • avatar
    JoDa

    Being parasitic Illinois, the gubbermint will just divert that tax money to gubbermint employee pension fund.

  • avatar
    Mike Beranek

    Did anyone think to ask how the roads feel about this? I asked several roads what they thought, and they all said this:

    One loaded 18-wheel truck = 5,000-6,000 passenger cars

    Hmmmm……

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I think the roads are singing “Try A Little Tenderness.”

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      ermahgerd!! Why do you guys hate trucksssssskdfhasfhkgkhgs (frothing at the mouth)

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I didn’t know a car only weighed 15 lbs.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        5,000-6,000 might be an exaggeration, but the wear and tear isn’t linear. It’s like an obese person sitting down in a baby chair one ten time won’t damage it, but sitting down in it ten times will wear it out pretty quickly, while a baby sitting in that same chair hundreds of times won’t damage it. It depends on the road too, like a neighborhood road with a thin base, compared to a primary road, compared to a superhighway.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          It’s no exaggeration. AASHTO (the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) determined that one 80,000lb semi truck is equivalent to about 10,000 passenger cars in terms of road wear.

          The difference in wear is proportional to the difference in axle weight to the fourth power.

          Loaded city buses cause similar damage because the axle weight can be even higher, having only two axles to distribute the load.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        I’m not sure that’s a good description of the relationship between weight and stresses. Maybe a truck only weighs twenty five times what a passenger car weighs. Suppose you’re laying on the floor and in a moment of playfulness your hundred and twenty pound companion executes a steamroller. Now replace her with something that weighs three thousand pounds.

    • 0 avatar
      Mike Beranek

      I’m in the civil engineering business. One 40 ton truck does the same damage as thousands of cars. JimC2 is right, the damage isn’t linear with the weight. Remember the 18-wheeler has 4.5 times more tires, and those tires are inflated to 80 psi as opposed to 35. Add it all up and the fact is the trucks absolutely punish the pavement. Not hatin’ on truckers, but our truck transport-based economy comes with a price.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        While not the same as trucks, I know the most chewed up portion of road on my commute is right in front of the high school, where the buses are grinding the pavement into pebbles and potholes.

        • 0 avatar
          Mike Beranek

          Same thing happens where garbage trucks come to a stop at the exact same point, every week, year in and year out. It literally tears the asphalt.
          Just like a screen saver, you need to move around your garbage cans in order to preserve your street.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        @Mike Beranek: I’m sure you’re right. That also highlights the inequity of charging a flat gas tax per gallon.

        My “GVWR x miles” suggestion is merely a starting point. Power functions could easily be included to make the taxation more fair.

  • avatar
    jtk

    Instead of this, if they could come up with a way to force IL drivers to pay every time they tailgate, block the passing lane, or cut off a semi without signaling, the state debt could be paid in a month.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I once got tailgated in Skokie DRIVING THROUGH A CEMETERY by some aggro old bitty. I could see her raging in my rear view mirror. Guess she was late to her buffet lunch or something.

      • 0 avatar
        jtk

        I wish I could say I’m surprised by this. But I’m not. Anywhere that I’ve been in Chicagoland, there’s always been another car to tailgate me. And I am not a slow driver.

  • avatar
    cardave5150

    Illinois has got to have the distinction of being the most corrupt state in our nation. This whole house of cards has been in the making for the last 40 years. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the maggot, look up Mike Madigan. He’s the Speaker of the House, and basically runs the entire state. The governor answers to him. When he first got voted into office, he placed himself on the committee that maps all the precincts, and drew himself a tiny little area up where he is immune to being voted out. The few who live in his zone have New schools, clean, new roads, everything is taken care of. The rest of the state gets screwed over. He is ruthless at controlling his empire, and is bleeding us dry.

    I’d leave if I could, but can’t until my stepdaughter turns 18 (6 more years!). In the meantime, we all get to face some of the highest property taxes in the nation, some of the highest sales taxes in the nation, some of the highest state income taxes in the nation, soon to be some of the highest gas taxes in the nation.

    Most of the highways that circle around Chicago are toll roads. In Joliet, a bridge on I-80 is in such poor condition that there are signs (and billboards) warning drivers to cross at their own risk. The state’s solution – they’ve proposed converting I-80 to a toll road to pay for the repairs to the bridge.

    The whole problem is the underfunded pensions, and the only way out really is state bankruptcy.

    I just hope to get the hell out of here before they enact “exit taxes,” where you are charged a tax if you sell a home in the state and don’t purchase another one. That day is coming….

    • 0 avatar
      jtk

      Don’t forget the multiple bridges falling apart in Chicago.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “soon to be some of the highest gas taxes in the nation”

      PA has that distinction, at 58.7 cents per gallon (on top of the 18.4 cent Federal tax). I wish our tax was *only* 38 cents.

      • 0 avatar
        volvo

        Here in coastal california we have the State Tax on gas 0.47 (due to rise 10% come july) + Federal tax 0.184 + Local tax 0.12 + 4% sales tax. With gas at $4.39/gal low octane that comes to total tax of about $0.94/gal.

        As a aside the state legislature and governor this week asked for an investigation into why california gas prices are the highest in the nation.

        No mystery here the answer is that voters demanded these gas prices at the ballot box over the past few years.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Mike is right-on, also.

    Put weigh stations and toll trucks.

    I remember reading FORTY years ago, somewhere, “one 80,000 lb truck causes as much wear as 2,000 cars”

    Back then, let’s say the average car weight was 4,000 lbs (in 1977, the avg midsize was 4200-4500, full-size was 2-500 more, compacts 3200-3600, and smaller imports 2000-2200)

    4000 x 2000 = 8,000,000!

    So that truck is killing the roads. Michigan allows 130,000. They require X axles, but still.

    Michigan’s roads are the worst…gov wants to triple gas taxes. But where does the money go? and what about trucks? Mum’s the word…

  • avatar
    tylanner

    This $1000/yr fee pretty much matches the amount an average Tesla owner saves in fuel costs vs. a 30mpg car at 1,300miles a month…..

    I’d consider that a significant deterrent to EV ownership..

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “This $1000/yr fee pretty much matches the amount an average Tesla owner saves in fuel costs vs. a 30mpg car at 1,300miles a month…..

      I’d consider that a significant deterrent to EV ownership..”

      — Especially since the State is basing their tax on the FULL price of the fuel and not their fraction of the full price paid by every other driver.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Gotta keep that retired teachers, police and firefighter’s pension plan shored up somehow…

  • avatar
    walleyeman57

    Reagan was right- but the order is wrong since we subsidized EV’s first.

    Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. Ronald Reagan

  • avatar
    rudiger

    FWIW, Ohio just joined the EV tax states with a $200 annual fee on EVs with a plug, and $100 on non-plug hybrids. They join Georgia and West Virginia as states with the highest annual EV fees.

    Washington state is currently considering raising the annual EV fee from $150 to $350.

    But Illinois, with a $1000 annual EV fee, would still be the clear winner in this dubious contest, three to five times that of the nearest contender.

    As one might expect, when Georgia reversed course in 2015 and replaced a state tax EV purchase credit of $5000 with a $200 annual fee, EV sales nose-dived.

  • avatar

    “I thought Illinois was progressive and would want to encourage EV ownership.”

    Ha-ha. That’s what progressives do – increase taxes. The solution would be charge ICE vehicle owners even more than $1000 registration fee. Make it $2000 a year so you can save $1000 switching to EV.

  • avatar
    MKizzy

    The low operating cost advantages of owning an EV vs ICE is evaporating quickly as states seek new sources of revenue. It’s natural that statehouses are going after EV’s and Hybrids since their owners don’t contribute to road maintenance via fuel taxes. Ohio just pretty much did the same thing as Illinois by heaping extra fees on EV/Hybrid owners.

    If the main reason for owning an EV is to not use fossil fuel, then these charges will be considered just part of the cost of making that decision. However, they will present another hurdle for mainstreaming EV’s in the minds of less affluent buyers.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “If the main reason for owning an EV is to not use fossil fuel”

      In my case, it’s a nice reason, but not the main reason. That might be #4 or 5 for me.


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