By on October 18, 2019

Chicago is considering sticking ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft with a new tax that would add a few bucks onto each ride. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has proposed a $40-million-per-year tax increase as part of a broader traffic plan modeled after London’s famous congestion fines. That means not all rides would be subject to the same fees, but each trip taken within the city would still cost a little extra.

While congestion charges are all the rage in Europe, they’re uncommon in the United States. New York City recently decided to financially penalize every driver taking a trip below 60th Street (something I’m not thrilled about), positioning Chicago as the second major metropolitan area in the U.S. to move forward on congestion fees. Lightfoot claims it’s a necessary first step “to improve mobility and further our goals of ensuring sustainable, affordable and reliable access to transportation options in every neighborhood.” 

Currently, Chicago mandates a flat 72-cent fee per ride. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, the new congestion pricing would tack on a minimum of 53 cents a trip — with some trips downtown adding as much as $3.00. Some of the revenue would be diverted into the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to establish priority bus zones on the South and West sides. Higher fees could also encourage residents to take public transit more often, especially for trips downtown.

From Crain’s Chicago Business:

However, most of the proceeds will go to the city’s general treasury, helping Lightfoot close a $838 million gap in the new budget she’s scheduled to unveil next week.

The proposal is expected to draw strong opposition from ride-hailing companies. “This is not something they are pleased with,” Rosa Escareño, commissioner of the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, told me after giving the firms a briefing on the plan. “No business likes to see fees imposed on them. But (congestion) data is very telling.”

“The mayor’s proposal amounts to by far the highest ride-sharing fee in the country and will take money out of the pockets of riders, who rely on apps to get around, and of drivers — half of whom live in the South and West sides of the city,” Uber spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said in an email. “As a candidate, the mayor said she was committed to equity, yet she is proposing to hike taxes by nearly 80 percent on underserved communities who do not contribute to congestion and lack reliable access to transportation.”

The only occupants who would not be subject to elevated fines are those sharing rides (à la Uber Pool, which drivers hate). Crain’s said they’ll be limited to the minimum fee, unless their journey begins or ends downtown. Other rides would endure a higher tax. Single non-stop rides outside of downtown and shared rides to or from downtown would come with a $1.25 fine, up from 72 cents. Meanwhile, those traveling exclusively between downtown neighborhoods would be subject to the largest tax of $3.00 per trip.

Lightfoot’s plan still requires City Council approval to become a reality. Assuming that happens, she said it would be the first phase of a broader congestion strategy for the city.

[Image: F11photo/Shutterstock]

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69 Comments on “Chicago Considers Congestion Charges, Starting With Uber/Lyft...”


  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Declining population tends to help with congestion as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      Zing of the day.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      You guys need to do a little research. According to the US Census Bureau, the population of the City of Chicago was 2.6977 million in 2010, and 2.7165 million in 2017. That’s not a declining population.

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        ect,

        I did a little research (not a lot) – we can do more if you like.

        Change your baseline to 2014 and maybe you will concede my point? Source – Chicago Tribune:
        https://tinyurl.com/y4uozxwp

        The relevant number for congestion is the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), not the city proper. Because, you know – commuters.

        The decline in the Chicago area population is in marked contrast to other large MSA’s. From the article: Chicago “was the only one in the country’s top 10 that saw a decrease rather than an increase in population, according to the Census Bureau.”

        But if you prefer, we can use “your” preferred data (your figures don’t tie to the Census Bureau website?):
        The City of Chicago grew by 0.4% over a time period in which the population of the United States as a whole grew by 6.0%. That is a relative decline (“not keeping up”) of 15:1. All of Chicago’s increase occurred in the first half of that period and the population has been declining over the past few years.

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          Firstly, let me say that the population of Chicago (the city – which is the entity that is considering the congestion charge) has actually been relatively stable over the pat several years. Your inference that its population is in general decline is simply not true, and by your own admission was made in complete ignorance of reality.

          Having been presented with that reality, your second post is a blatant distortion of data to try and retroactively “prove” a falsehood.

          For example, to assert that Chicago has not grown as fast as other cities means it is “declining” is openly contradictory to your initial post. A growing population of any degree (absent other influences) increases traffic – and therefore congestion issues. A miniscule decrease over a short period of time does not contradict a pattern of long-term stability, and it is misleading to suggest otherwise.

          And BTW, my numbers came directly from the Census Bureau website.

          Traffic congestion is a fact of life in virtually all major cities, regardless of whether population is stable or increasing. Chicago is looking to address this in a particular manner, and whether you agree or not with its approach it doesn’t help to spout off false “data” without any concern about whether it’s accurate or not.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Put down your shovel, dissembler.

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            ect,

            Interesting infographic:
            https://tinyurl.com/y68rtolz

            Note the Chicago detail graph in the bottom section.

            The population of the city of Chicago proper peaked in the 1950 census at 3,620,962. It has dropped by around 25% since then.

            *Emphasis* added:
            – “The Chicago area’s population *declined* for the fourth year in a row in 2018, according to the latest Census Bureau estimates.” chicagobusiness.com
            – “The metropolitan area has seen gradual *declines* in population…” chicagotribune.com
            – “Chicago’s population is *declining*, according to latest Census Bureau estimates” chicago.suntimes.com

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    As someone who has lived in the city and has family in the city let me just explain how this works in Chicago.

    Everything can be taxed.

    Spending is never cut.

    Best example car related is former Mayor Daley sold off the entire city parking meter system in 2008 on a 75 year lease for $1.15B cash. I can’t remember how quickly but the money was gone within a couple years at most to plug budget holes. After this occurred parking rates went parabolic. My aunts neighborhood went from $0.50/hr to over $2. I wanna say it is now $3-$4. 9-5 parking became 8am-9pm in many areas. Working people could now not park overnight after work without paying. And I saw from the sun times I believe the company that did the deal will have recouped their investment next year, 2021, while the city is on the hook till 2083. Nice job. 60 years of revenue the city could have had all sold off for a billion bucks that was immediately blown on everyday bills.

    I love and hate Chicago. Eventually you just get tired of the nickel and diming. And this is another. You can also look up their Netflix tax they claim falls under the city entertainment tax. Restaurants in some parts of the city collect more sales tax than others. While the general sales tax is over 10%. Property taxes are going insane. Illinois just doubled the gas tax. You pay a city car registration tax on top of your state plates. I’m sure I’m forgetting a slew of others. Oh the plastic bag tax.

    And the beauty of it is the infrastructure is crumbling. I got to be a pro at dodging potholes that could swallow an elephant when I lived there.

    This will no doubt have a nice effect of getting rid of cars….and the business they bring with them. Tax the cars, lose their business.

    Illinois and Chicago are the poster child for how NOT to run your government.

    And the way they view citizens as open wallets while spending never goes down at all just adds to the insult.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Wow, terribly run social welfare states think alike. Connecticut just started a state wide shopping bag tax, and just started taxing Netflix. Just for fun we started a $100 car trade in tax. Our new Governor is still pitching tolls (which we don’t have), but he undercut his argument by stealing $1b in gas tax revenue to put into the general fund at the same time he was crying about needing money for infrastructure. Our last Governor agreed to have the state pay off the entirety of our capital city’s debt – $500m. The city of Hartford got to be irresponsible for decades, and then gets off scott free while the rest of us pay for it. Oh, and he also locked the state into a 10 year deal with the unions, locking in their benefits for 10 years in exchange for a few minor concessions.

    • 0 avatar
      xtoyota

      That’sOK…. save Chicago vote Democratic they will fix everything ….. Oh wait they already run Chicago—-stupid voters :=(

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      @ Jerome10 – You’re completely right that the parking meter sale was a disastrous move by the city, but I disagree with you partly on the why:
      – The increased rates were NOT a negative outcome in and of themselves. Rates had been too low for decades, and the post-deal increases essentially were a market correction. Metered spots are more the exception than the rule in the city, and they serve blocks where people should be parking for somewhere on the order of 15 to 200 minutes while patronizing businesses in that that neighborhood. Frankly, it’s a good thing that the phenomenon of people parking their car for 10+ hrs in a metered spot has waned. I’ve found it’s become much easier to run an errand or park near a given restaurant than it used to be. And the rates are not unreasonable in the context of valet parking/off street lots/zoned side streets/walks from un-zoned side streets. Again, this was basically a market correction.
      – You’re completely right that the sale was a bad thing on the whole. Essentially, Hizzoner King Richard II and his overly compliant aldermen took a profitable asset, sold it for pennies on the dollar, and then blew those pennies almost immediately. SMH.

      90% of the complaints I hear with regard to the parking deal have to do with the rates, though, and that’s off base. It’s WHERE the money is going now that is the problem. The city should have kept the concession, modernized the meters, and raised the rates.

      You’re also off base with regard to the plastic bag tax. That’s not nickel and dining, that’s good public policy. 7¢ per bag is a nominal fee, yet it’s caused most people to think, “Do I really need a bag?” or “Can I put that purchase in my purse or briefcase instead?” Where the city screwed up was in mis-projecting the degree to which shoppers would do the right thing and stop using bags unnecessaril. Consequently, tax revenue fell short of their projections, creating further budgetary problems.

      Not flaming you and hope my post doesn’t come off that way. You make some good points.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      “And the beauty of it is the infrastructure is crumbling. I got to be a pro at dodging potholes that could swallow an elephant when I lived there.

      This will no doubt have a nice effect of getting rid of cars….and the business they bring with them. Tax the cars, lose their business.”

      If you actually lived in the city—you don’t need a car.

      Living on the North Side for over 14 years, I knew many that moved there just to park a car on the street and commute by car through the city streets or to use a car to run errands around the city. The amount of Uber and Lyft cars is insane and they’re mostly suburban IL or NW Indiana residents driving around for 8 hours trying to make money while clogging up the streets. Those same Uber and Lyft drivers I swear were fresh out of drivers ed—stopping in the middle of streets, double parking for periods of time or making U-turns in the middle of the road to pick up their passengers.

      The infrastructure is crumbling across the nation, just not Chicago. The roads have improved within the past several years.

      • 0 avatar
        SSJeep

        Congestion taxation in Chicago does make sense, and the ride app companies (not ride sharing, no one uses that aspect) have contributed to 20-30% more traffic in the city. Many of the drivers have out of state plates because the Chicago market is so lucrative.

        So I am not opposed to it. But what I am opposed to is the City of Chicago managing the revenue. None will go to roads, none will go to the CTA – all will go to corrupt, toxic pensions that are spiked and double dipped across the board.

  • avatar
    TurboX

    Give it to the liberals to levy yet another tax. I agree that economic incentives work but they are barking at the wrong tree – they should be charging private cars, not ride sharing, which actually help reduce congestion.

    • 0 avatar
      Jerome10

      There may have been an article on TTAC that actually overall congestion may go up with uber running around.

      Something about private cars that might be on the roads for a bit then sit at home or work have been replaced by uber cars that are constantly on the road driving around often not carrying people.

      That’s about all I can remember. Anyway I think point is I’m not sure that uber has been shown to decrease congestion.

      • 0 avatar
        Matt Posky

        Your memory is correct: https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2018/02/ride-sharing-actually-congests/

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        That is definitely the case in Seattle. Not only are their more cars on the road the damn uber and lyft drivers stop in the middle off the street, so often just past an intersection and block traffic for a number of minutes.

        • 0 avatar
          Featherston

          And while I’m not necessarily a fan of America’s big city cab drivers as compared to London cabbies, I find them generally to be less clueless than exurbanites who’ve decided to do a Lyft or Uber stint in the city proper.

        • 0 avatar
          Publius

          Can confirm. At night it seems most cars are Uber/Lyft. And stopping in the middle of traffic is epidemic.

    • 0 avatar
      TakeshiHonda

      Major urban city: We have a congestion problem.

      Democrats: Congestion charges! Tolls!

      Republicans: no more taxes!!

      Democrats: Let’s invest in transportation by upgrading and extending the urban rail system.

      Republicans: That costs too much money!!!

      Democrats: Do you have any suggestions to offer?

      Republicans:…… *crickets… more cars!! MURICA!!

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Are you seriously defending the city of Chicago here and blaming their woes on Republicans? Look, Republicans are far from Angels and certainly have their own issues, but when was the last time a Republican ran anything in the city of Chicago. That is one particular mess the Democrats get to own. Residents of Chicago should demand better of their government.

        • 0 avatar
          Publius

          The federal government has cut way back on spending for infrastructure, despite the fact that Chicago and other cities are the main economic drivers of the country.

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            >>despite the fact that Chicago and other cities are the main economic drivers of the country.<<

            which is why the rest of the state wants to cut Chicago loose – Chicago could become Detroit, another city the Dems destroyed

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          the Chicago Dems looted the city and then looted the state

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        “Let’s invest”

        whenever Dems want to spend money they incorrectly use the word “invest” and do so intentionally to hide their deception

        Chicago is absolutely corrupt and the Dem machine has bleed it dry, they sold the meters, the tolls and the parking lot revenues to do everything but “invest”

  • avatar
    jkross22

    This is what corruption looks like without any attempt to hide it. I live near LA and city government is terrible, but Chicago is some next level sh!%

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    The problem with Democratic governments is they make the dystopias they govern unlivable to the extent that everyone leaves when they retire and moves somewhere else where they vote for the policies that made them leave their Democratic dystopias in the first place. There’s no cure for stupid, and it seems to be a communicable disease.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “everyone leaves when they retire and moves somewhere else where they vote for the policies that made them leave their Democratic dystopias in the first place.”

      You know, that’s true. It happened in Grand Junction, CO, when the great California exodus hit there in the ’90s. Ditto with Tucson, AZ, Phoenix, Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Cove, NV, Gardnerville, NV, Boise, ID, and even El Paso, TX, when all those former-Californians moved in.

      People cashing out in their high SALT states voted for increased expensive social services and public services, raising the taxes beyond the financial ability of many natives already there.

      Places like Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Taos, Rio Rancho, and Ruidoso, all in NM, gave seen a huge number of these nuveau-riche migrants from NY, NJ, CA, MD, VA and others who cashed out in their home state, move into those areas and buy up everything in sight not tied down, raising the prices and taxes for everyone there.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    So, for all the people complaining about “tax”:

    There is limited street space in major cities. Specifically, there is not enough street space for everyone moving around the city to take up as much space as a car. How would you allocate the space?

    With no congestion charges or tolling, the answer to that question is “space goes to whoever is willing to wait the longest.” That’s about the worst possible way to do it.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      You’re right. People who don’t have high paying jobs should have no jobs at all. Maybe then they’ll just die and let the rest of us live like the climate change activist jet set!

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        You might have heard of these things that you’ll find in many places in Chicago called “el trains.” They can take people to in-city jobs! Even high-paying ones. And the people on them take up somewhere around 1%-2% of the space of solo drivers in cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Hydromatic

      The answer isn’t an answer at all. The complainants will simply continue to bitch about how their pockets are being picked clean by liberal/socialist/democrat policies while ignoring a very simple problem: how to reconcile too many vehicles with too few spaces.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        We need to get the zero sum game losers out of positions of influence. The answer is to build new roads. The argument against it is that building new roads leads to more traffic. That’s only a problem if you’ve been conditioned to hate people. More traffic is the result of more people going to jobs, buying things, and using services. More traffic is greater wealth for everyone and a higher standard of living. The problem is congestion, which is created by initiatives to reduce road use through traffic calming, reallocating traffic lanes for less useful mass transit or bicycles, and failing to build roads to keep up with areas that have been rezoned for higher population densities.

    • 0 avatar
      OneAlpha

      The solution’s simple, but difficult to implement.

      You know those elevated train trestles you see everywhere in Chicago? Use that same technology to essentially “Photoshop” two or three more layers of streets onto the entire city.

      Problem solved, and a far better use of public money that paying the underclass not to work.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        @OneAlpha, I don’t know…would Chicago be effected by any movement on the New Madrid Fault? Elevated, double decker highways in L.A. and San Francisco proved to be a terrible idea. You have got to think that if engineers could do it in those contitions they would have done it in LA by now.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        So, like an el train, except it can only carry a small fraction as many people.

        Everyone here advocating for more cars in cities is just not wrestling with how much space cars take up. A lane of car traffic can move around 1200 people per hour under ideal conditions (less in serious congestion). A subway or el with a six-car train every three minutes can move TEN TIMES as many people.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          What you have been diverted from figuring out is that a train doesn’t move people from where they are to where they want to be when they want to go there. Cars do that.

          Last time I lived in a city with commuter rail, I was stuck downtown during a failure of the level crossing system. That’s when I saw why the windows are so darkly tinted on those trains. There was an average of one passenger in every third rail car at around 8 AM on a weekday.

          Technically, where I live now has light rail, but various interest groups have made it just about useless to keep undesirables from having another means of spreading crime.

          If you can show me a light rail system that has revenue diverted from its user fees to cover shortfalls of less efficient government activities, then you will have produced the only evidence that moving people via rail is a sound idea.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            “a train doesn’t move people from where they are to where they want to be when they want to go there. Cars do that.”

            OK, let’s race across Manhattan, between any two points of your choice, starting at any time of your choice on a weekday afternoon. You take a private car, I’ll take the subway.

            Whatever the two points, and whenever you start, I’ll get there first. That’s true even with the current suboptimal state of the New York subway.

            You’re still not accounting for the fact that once a city reaches a certain density there’s just not enough space for everyone to drag a two-ton, 150-square-foot metal box with them everywhere they go. And if they try, you get the gridlock which will cause me to win the above race.

            By contrast, train systems thrive with density — you get enough ridership to put trains everywhere that people want to go, and to run them so often that a schedule doesn’t matter. That’s what an effective subway system is.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            There are zero points in Manhattan where you will find me or where I am ever trying to go. Ask my sister. She lives there, and I haven’t been back to visit since I moved away in 2002. That’s no way to live.

            When I first moved to Manhattan in 1993, you could drive all over the place most of the time. I loved driving in the city then, as everyone was trying to get where they were going aggressively. By the time I left, things were definitely headed in the wrong direction. Traffic lanes were being replaced with bus and bike lanes, but I still took a cab to work every day and a town car service home most days. You must have a higher tolerance for frottage and phlegmy coughs than I do if you expect so little from life that you’ll suffer the daily humiliations of public transportation. It’s funny that we have so many people who’ve been tricked into thinking that they’re big successes when they’re shackled to their jobs 24/7 by iphones and live in worse housing than college students in crime-riddled blue cities with feces in streets and the growing threat of medieval diseases.

            My first job out of school, Chemical Bank would bump me into a higher checking account class every two weeks when I deposited my pay. Then they would hit me with fees for not maintaining a minimum balance I never signed up for after paying my Manhattan rent and my credit card bills. I had to challenge the charges every month. There’s probably someone making at least 300K a year living in the 800 square foot, two balconies, one bedroom apartment I lived in next to New York Health & Racquet Club on 13th street today. Does that make them rich and smart? The media tells them it does. Who cares if every single Costco member in the country has a better standard of living? Population density is for hell.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            If big cities were anything like the terrifying vision of them that you appear to have absorbed from Fox News, now doubt they’d be emptying out. Instead they are some of the fastest-growing, most housing-starved places in the country.

            I’ve lived in my current big deep blue city (my district council member is a real live socialist!) for 33 of my 43 years. In that time, I haven’t once been the victim of a crime, and I think I’ve seen human feces on the street once.

            Meanwhile, the number of people around (there’s that population density again) means that I have a job in my specialized, pretty lucrative and enjoyable field, and there are real cultural institutions and almost unlimited opportunities for my kids, Oh, and much better dining options than the local Red Robin or P.F. Chang’s.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            So, is this fake news then?

            https://www.oregonlive.com/entertainment/2019/03/tv-documentary-about-seattles-homeless-crisis-sparks-debate-portland-comparisons.html

            youtube.com/watch?v=bpAi70WWBlw

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            It is vastly exaggerated and acts as though problems seen in a tiny handful of areas are representative of the whole city.

            We do have a homelessness crisis, which could be totally solved by allowing more housing to be built, but for the most part it manifests itself in random tents and people sleeping in doorways here and there.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I agree because I know there is a housing situation in your city, however I doubt the petty criminals, drug addicts, and those afflicted with mental illness as shown in the documentary are suddenly going to become homeowners. I don’t know what’s going on out there but the documentary implies the local government has prevented the police from exercising their authority over the situation. I do know here in Pittsburgh the city police have had their hands tied to some degree by poor leadership but probably has not been as severe as what is implied in Seattle. Pity the hypocrisy of certain political parties and their selective enforcement of local laws and ordinances as opposed to the rule of law. Really it just shoots down anything else they may have to say which may be of merit. Amazes me how more proles don’t see this.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Heavy-handed exercise of police authority doesn’t fix anything. It just results in a dramatic increase in prison costs.

            The research is very consistent about what solves this stuff: a combination of available housing and supportive services.

            Allowing the construction of housing isn’t going to make these guys homeowners. At first it wouldn’t do anything for them at all. But if you kept on building for a decade or so, you’d again get the sort of $300/month flophouse rooms that were easy to find when I was in my 20s. (Now those are $1000/month and renting to a more functional group of people.) Get the people in that documentary into rooms, and their use (while still bad for them) mostly stops affecting the public.

        • 0 avatar
          Fliggin_De_Fluge

          “It is vastly exaggerated” No, it’s not and making excuses for the people in charge there because they are “your” people doesn’t help things. The trend in cities governed by “your” people is a bad one, and you either step up and change or get out of the way. Disgusting that you guys continue to lie about it.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Do you live here? I do, three miles from downtown. It’s vastly exaggerated.

            I travel throughout all parts of the city regularly, often outside of a car, and the impact on my life of anything depicted in it is basically zero.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    Why does the word “sustainability” always want to make me projectile-vomit?!

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Seems the beatings will continue until morale improves.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I am glad I do not live in the Chicago metropolitan area. I have lived in the Northern KY for over 32 years and I always longed to go back to Houston until I went back in 2008 for my father’s 90 birthday. They say you can never can go back home again.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      “You can never go home again… but I guess you can shop there.”
      – Martin Blank, Grosse Pointe Blank

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFKxFe0Mcgc

      (bonus – Panther!)

  • avatar
    TakeshiHonda

    Major urban city: We have a congestion problem.

    Democrats: Congestion charges! Tolls!

    Republicans: no more taxes!!

    Democrats: Let’s invest in transportation by upgrading and extending the urban rail system.

    Republicans: That costs too much money!!!

    Democrats: Do you have any suggestions to offer?

    Republicans:…… *crickets… more cars!! MURICA!!

    • 0 avatar
      Fliggin_De_Fluge

      Democrats: Let’s make more laws!(meanwhile, 2200 people shot in Chicago because all those laws REALLY work) Give us MORE control!

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        “Democrats: Let’s make more laws!(meanwhile, 2200 people shot in Chicago because all those laws REALLY work) Give us MORE control!”

        Republicans: There’s a gun ban in Chicago!

        Anyone that can read: There isn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Are there even any republicans in the City of Chicago or Cook County administration to offer suggestions? This one particular mess is wholly owned by Democrats. Not that Republicans havent created some real messes, but their hands are clean on this one.

      Furthermore, had you read the article yu would see that these taxes aren’t doing anything to improve infrastructure…the money is going to the general fund. People get to pay more for infrastructure that will continue to degrade. Chicago residents should demand better.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      This is a weird comment. Republicans have minimal power within the Illinois state legislature (65% Democrat and has a Democrat as governor) and about zero within the city and county governments of Chicago (Chicago’s mayor is a Democrat, a mere 2% of Chicago’s city Council is Republican, and the Cook county board of commissioners is 10% Republican).

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Just another source of tax revenue. Most taxpayers would feel more accepting of these taxes if they went directly for road and bridge infrastructure–repair, replace, and adding. Just plugging deficit and redirecting the revenue for other projects is not right. Even if part of these additional taxes went toward mass transit many would accept them if they used them for roads and bridges.

  • avatar
    Michael S6

    Chicago is primed for Bankruptcy given it’s budget deficit. Soon to follow the footsteps of our great city of Detroit.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Raise the taxes enough and people will leave. Congestion problem solved.

  • avatar

    In London it’s already 11.50 BP, around 13 USD per day per car. I believe they differentiate according to emissions.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Chicago and Illinois epitomize-but by no means are unique–what is wrong with our country: spending beyond our means.

    Economics is not a science, though economists think they can ‘manage’ things.

    Basically, if you want more (stuff, services, whatever), you pay more. Perhaps you can get much more for a little more, but it will cost you more.

    Sometimes you can get more for less–computers. But even there, are you really saving money? Can you get an iPhone for less than you could 5 years ago? Or a laptop? Not really. You get more ‘power’, but you pay the same or more.

    So, here is my point: up to about 50 years ago, America’s economy created enough wealth to provide for most people–and even to provide for an incredibly expensive stupid, moronic wasteful war.

    But wait–back then people had less and wanted less. Yet as America aged, our “wants” increased–just as our economy’s ability to produce the wealth necessary to pay for them was starting to level off.

    So now, pretty much everyone is in the hole. Federal govt. State. Local. Most AMericans. And if you actually are prudent and are not–well, don’t feel too smug, because all this debt will prove toxic, and it will erode or destroy your savings—which basically represent your choice to go without something yesterday or now, in order to have something tomorrow.

    It’s quite depressing. We are drowning in gimmicks.

    Just reading about Connectictut, or Illinois, or the local news. Michigan’s roads are crumbling. We probably have 1,000 Flints in this country that need their water infrastructure fixed. Even Joe Biden has joked about LaGuardia being a 3rd world airport.

    Even our gasoline is messed up….we subsidized farmers to grow ethanol, which trashes our cars, wastes food, and increases our cars’ fuel consumption. It’s a gimmick that benefits a few at our expense.

    Remember, the top 1% always gets theirs. 50 years ago, they could get theirs and the pie was big enough for the rest of us–white-collar, blue collar, stockholder, pensioner, state govt, fed govt. But now, the pie hasn’t grown enough, so the top uses gimmicks to get theirs, and rest of us pay more for less.

    And as the mob mentality picks up speed, the idea of ‘don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax the other fellow behind the tree’, things will get worse as we run out of other fellows.

    Any candidate who states these truths will never win, because the right will say “he’s overtaxing you” and the left will say “she’s cutting your deserved benefits” and people will believe that.

    USA = empire of delusion. Sorry. Oh, I’m a vet by the way, and I was NOT drafted.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @tomLU86–Agree, good points. I get sick of hearing tax the rich. What happens is the real rich don’t pay and those who are doing well but not rich are the ones that pay more. As for the ethanol it costs the consumers not only in tax subsidies but more for repairs and replacement from damages from its increased use.


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