Dan Petrella and Jamie Munks of the Chicago Tribune report that Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker is preparing an infrastructure spending bill to submit to the legislature:
Gov. J.B. Pritzker is set to unveil a six-year, $41.5 billion plan to repair Illinois’ crumbling roads, bridges, public schools and university buildings in a massive proposal that calls for nearly $1.8 billion in new taxes and tax increases, according to documents provided to lawmakers at a Friday briefing.
Dubbed Rebuild Illinois, it would be the state’s first large-scale infrastructure improvement program in a decade and would result in higher costs for everything from ride-sharing to cable and streaming services, as well as a significant hike at the gas pump.
The long-awaited proposal, which comes as lawmakers are working to finalize the state budget before their schedule May 31 adjournment, received a lukewarm response from some of the governor’s fellow Democrats and pushback from some Republicans. The preliminary drafts distributed Friday follow behind-the-scenes negotiations with a bipartisan group of lawmakers. Changes are expected even before Pritzker makes a formal announcement next week.
Anyone who has driven from Illinois into Indiana, Wisconsin, or Iowa cannot help but notice the marked difference between our neighboring states’ roads and ours and a lot of Gov. Pritzker’s plan is, apparently, devoted to roads and bridges. One might want to mull over why Illinois’s roads and bridges are in such obviously worse shape than, say, Iowa’s. I think it’s because every available dollar is being used here to pay present and past public employees.
The governor intends to pay for part of his plan by raising taxes:
Pritzker’s outline includes doubling the state gas tax to 38 cents per gallon from 19 cents; tiered increases in vehicle registration fees based on the vehicle’s age; a $250 annual registration fee for electric vehicles; a $1-per-ride tax on ride sharing; and a 7% state tax on cable, satellite and streaming service.
Other taxes being discussed include a new 6% tax on daily and hourly garage parking, a 9% tax on monthly and annual garage parking, and an increase in taxes on manufacturers and importing distributors of beer, wine and spirits.
but he intends to let future generations pay for most of the cost:
The largest share of the program, $17.8 billion, would be funded through state bonds, while more than $7 billion would come from regular revenue. The plan counts on more than $10 billion in federal funding and $6.6 billion from local governments and private sources.
Let the feeding frenzy begin! Every county and particularly Cook County, Will County, DuPage County, and Lake County will be vying for as much of the spending as they can corral.
How many people will still live in Illinois 30 years from now when the bonds mature?