Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
Supply · Service · Stewardship

Electric cars, better fuel efficiency spell doom for Illinois gas tax

As roads and bridges in Illinois crumble, so too does the primary source of revenue the state relies on to fix them — the gas tax.
Illinois adds 19 cents to the pump price of each gallon of gas to underwrite road work, a fee that hasn’t changed in 27 years even though inflation has cut the purchasing power by half. And with cars getting ever better gas mileage, the so-called Motor Fuel Tax reaps less today to fund repairs than it did a decade ago: $1.38 billion in 2007, $1.28 billion last year, state data show.
Experts warn that the same march of technology that has helped lay waste to manufacturing, in-store retailers, print-on-paper newspapers and other businesses, will soon exact a similar toll on the revenue-generating power of the gas tax. That will set Illinois, other states and the federal government, which levies a similar tax for road work, scrambling for alternatives.
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