Illinois has its eyes on your pocketbook, again. This time: gas taxes, registration fees, Netflix, and Uber.
The Illinois Policy Institute reports Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office is using a major capital bill as a vehicle to grease lawmakers for a progressive income tax amendment. But the tax hikes to pay for it would make Illinoisans’ gas tax burden the second highest in the nation.
Gas tax hike ($1.2 billion): The preliminary capital plan relies on doubling Illinois’ motor fuel tax to 38 cents from 19 cents per gallon, effective July 1. This would make Illinois’ total gas tax burden the second highest in the nation. Under the proposed gas tax hike, drivers filling up in Chicago would pay 96 cents in taxes and fees on a $2.46 gallon of gasoline – an effective tax burden of 39%.
Vehicle registration fee hike ($490 million): The preliminary capital plan would also hike vehicle registration fees, imposing a new cost structure based on the age of the car. The current annual fee of $101 would jump to $199 for vehicles 3 years old or newer, $169 for vehicles 4-6 years old, $139 for vehicles 7-11 years old, and $109 for vehicles 12 years and older. The $199 registration fee for newer vehicles would be higher than any neighboring state and third-highest in the nation, according to Ballotpedia research.
New $1 per ride tax on ridesharing ($214 million): The plan would enact a statewide $1 per ride tax on ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft. Chicago already levies a 72-cent per ride fee on ridesharing services.
New 7% tax on cable, satellite and streaming services ($150 million): Chicago’s “Netflix tax” would expand statewide, with the state charging a 7% tax on users of streaming services, as well as cable and satellite customers. None of these services are currently taxed at the state level. Chicago currently stretches the definition of its 9 percent citywide “amusement tax” to include online streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify, as well as Playstation rentals.
Tax hikes on beer, wine and liquor ($120 million): Taxes on booze would rise by up to 50%. The per-gallon tax on beer and cider would rise to 27.7 cents from 23.1 cents; the per-gallon tax on wine would rise to $2.05 from $1.39, and the per-gallon tax on distilled liquor would rise to $12.60 from $8.55. Bob Myers, president of the Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois, estimated Illinois loses out on up to $30 million per year to cross-border alcohol purchases.
New statewide parking garage tax ($60 million): Daily and hourly garage parking would be hit with a 6% tax while monthly and annual garage parking would come with a 9% tax. Chicagoans already pay among the highest parking rates in the country. The state does not currently tax garage parking.
Doubling the real estate transfer tax ($34 million): The proposal doubles the real estate transfer tax on non-residential real estate to $1 from 50 cents per $500 in value.
Hiking registration fees for electric vehicles ($4 million): The registration fee for electric vehicles would rise to $250 per year from $34 every other year.
Q: What do we call this?
A: A start!
This is ongoing and it will never stop.
Progressive Tax Push
Pritzker wants to amend the state constitution to allow for “progressive” graduated income taxes. He claims it will be a tax on the wealthy.
He is a blatant liar. It will be a tax on everyone. The wealthiest will leave. And even if they don’t, there is already a general exodus. Illinois is losing population while neighboring states are gaining.
The most important point is that pension benefits to public unions and other unfunded obligations total nearly 50% of Illinois budget!
For discussion, please see Warren Buffett Would Not Locate a Business in Illinois: Let’s Explore Why.