Some Illinois lawmakers may want to tax drivers per mile traveled, but House Resolution 766 could preempt this effort.
The idea isn’t new: Senate President John Cullerton proposed it in 2016, and gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker has said the state should explore the idea. Under a previous measure, individual drivers would be monitored—via GPS technology in a smartphone app or tracking device similar to the I-Pass or EZ-Pass—and charged a tax of 1.5 cents per mile driven on public, non-tolled Illinois roads. Another earlier proposal would charge the same amount, but would be calculated from a monthly odometer reading; yet another would be a flat-rate annual fee of $450.
However, HR 766—which is currently with the House Rules Committee—states opposition from a slate of sponsors to any state taxes that are based on the number of miles driven.
“Previous statements about this new tax have prompted this resolution,” said State Rep. Avery Bourne, who has signed on as a chief cosponsor of HR 766. “The vehicle miles traveled tax would bring financial burden to Illinoisans and make our state even less competitive. Rural residents, especially, would be hit hard because of the longer miles driven between home and work. The privacy issue is yet another reason that this type of legislation is bad for Illinois.”