Charging drivers a tax per mile would force rural families to subsidize urban transportation, a Central Illinois congressman said.
Illinois Senate Bill 3279 would have Illinois drivers paying road taxes in one of three ways beginning July 2025: Pay a flat rate based on 30,000 miles a year, report miles by reading an odometer or use an electronic location device to track miles.
Central Illinois Republican Congressman Rodney Davis told WMAY Springfield that taxing mileage will affect families in his district more than families in urban areas.
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“My single mom in rural America will be subsidizing those mass transit opportunities for all the others in the urban areas,” Davis said. “I think it’s wrong.”
However, Davis said ultimately it’s up to state governments.
Democratic Congressman Bill Foster of Naperville said in an email: "This type of legislation would be unnecessary if the federal government altered the unfair funding formulas … that return $89 per Illinoisan each year when each Alaskan gets $609."
Meanwhile, a longtime electric vehicle driver said taxing drivers per mile shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach.
Ted Lowe, the former president of the Fox Valley Electric Auto Association, said he understands that people driving more fuel-efficient vehicles, hybrids or electric cars need to pay their fair share for the roads. But Lowe said taxing people by the number of miles they drive isn’t fair because some vehicles are heavier than others.
“A bicycle can go 10 miles and an SUV can go 10 miles.” Lowe said. “Which one is hurting the road more?”
Lowe said whatever plan lawmakers come up with should be as fair as possible but, “there’s no equitable way to share the earth, right?”
SB 3279 remains in the Senate Executive Committee.