Tag Archives: gas tax

Shovel ready: Demorat Illinois governor signs massive tax/infrastructure bill

Fun fact about this demorat governor:

“He is a private business owner based in Chicago and a managing partner and co-founder of the Pritzker Group and a member of the Pritzker family who own the Hyatt hotel chain; he has an estimated personal net worth of $3.2 billion.

Pritzker was the Democratic nominee for governor of Illinois in the 2018 gubernatorial election. He defeated Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner in the general election on November 6, 2018. As governor, he holds more private wealth than any other governor in U.S. history and is the second-wealthiest U.S. politician to have ever held office, after Michael Bloomberg.

From MyFoxChicago: Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday signed into law a plan that will pour $45 billion into state construction projects to build and upgrade roads, bridges, parks and schools – and will require drivers, smokers and gamblers to pick up the tab.

Pritzker called it the “most comprehensive reconstruction effort” in the state’s history.

“Together we passed the largest, most robust capital plan in this state’s history,” said Pritzker, whose office says the plan will create 540,000 jobs. “We’re investing $45 billion over 6 years to fix what’s broken and repair what’s needed.”

Illinois’ first statewide capital plan in 10 years will include spending on everything from an expansion of high-speed broadband internet to sewage system development. The bulk of the money – $33.2 billion – will be spent on transportation projects. An additional $4.3 billion will be spent on state facilities, $3.5 billion on education projects and $1.2 billion on environmental projects.

To pay for it all, the Democratic-controlled Legislature approved the expansion of gambling around the state, including new casinos in Chicago, Rockford, Danville, Williamson County and a yet-to-be-decided site in a Cook County suburb south of Chicago. Supporters say the state’s share of gambling revenue will be $2 billion in one-time licensing fees and an additional $400 million a year when all the casinos are up and running.

“We’re responsibly expanding gaming at the request of cities that want to make sure that they have the resources to pay for police and firefighter pensions, and to fund vital services,” Pritzker said.

Lawmakers also have signed off on doubling the state’s gasoline tax from 19 cents a gallon to 38 cents a gallon, as well as bumping the price of cigarettes by $1 a pack, and adding a 15% tax on e-cigarettes.

The cost to register electric vehicles will climb by $250; the cost to register all other vehicles will be increased by $50. The plan also calls for an increase on the real estate transfer on commercial properties and the removal of a sales tax exemption on property valued at more than $10,000.

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Never let a crisis go to waste: Rahm Emanuel calls for gas tax increase

He apparently hasn’t seen what is happening in France.

From ABC 7: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and members of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus are calling on lawmakers to raise the gas tax as part of a capital bill to pay for much-needed transportation infrastructure repairs and improvements.

The proposal would raise the gas tax by 20 to 30 cents per gallon.

It may seem like a big ask, but Mayor Emanuel and others believe there is a bigger problem with the state’s transportation infrastructure, particularly in the Chicago area, that cannot be ignored any longer.

“This has to be about achieving a permanent fix to our chronic transportation funding shortages,” said Joe Szabo, Executive Director Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. “We’re at a crisis point and the worst thing we could do now is to settle for a short term funding solution that will put us back in the same situation five or ten years from now.”

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, or CMAP, represents 285 communities in seven counties.

In the mayors’ proposed 20-to-30-cents per gallon increase, every five cents would provide an estimated $250 million in revenue statewide, including $20 million for Chicago. The money could be used to pay for road, bridge or rail improvements.

“If you take the lower range, the 20 cents, and since we haven’t raised it since 1990, that would be just about equal to what inflation was since 1990, that’s just catching up to where we were,” Emanuel said.

Chicago drivers are already paying one of the highest motor fuel taxes in the country, 49 cents a gallon, plus another 10.5 percent sales tax on top of that. The thought of raising it even further seemed jarring to some.

“Yikes. That’s pretty steep,” said Linda Sandoval, driver.

“There’s got to be a better way to find that money. They do need repair, but there’s got to be other means to get that money besides from a gas tax,” said driver John Heider. “It seems like we’re being penalized to get to and from work.”

The Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association said the proposed tax hike would be disastrous to retailers, especially those near state lines.

Wednesday Mayor Emanuel will roll out another plan to deal with the city’s pension problems. A source confirmed he will call for the legalization of marijuana, and a Chicago casino with all the revenue going to pay for the city’s pensions.

He will also push for a constitutional amendment to eliminate the pension protection clause.

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Paris burns & rioters clash with police during eighth day of protest over increased fuel tax, call for “out of touch” Macron to resign

Riots in Paris/AP photo

I guess the French are finally fed up with being taxed to death.

From Fox News: Thousands of French protesters flooded the nation’s capital Saturday to demonstrate against President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial fuel tax increase — clashing with policies as they called for Macron’s resignation.

The angry clashes, both in Paris and other towns and cities across the country, mark the eighth day of “yellow jacket” protests against the tax, but have also come to encompass a growing anger against Macron and the French ruling class — seen by many as out of touch.

The yellow jackets have become a uniform of sorts for the protesters, originating from the neon yellow jackets French drivers are required to keep in their vehicles.

Authorities said that at least 8,000 protesters flooded the Champs-Elysees in Paris alone, with 81,000 protesters in total nationwide compared to 244,000 last Saturday. Police deployed some 3,000 security forces after an attempt to march on the Elysee Palace last week.

Police used smoke, tear gas and even a water cannon to try and disperse the protesters, Le Monde reported. Officials said that a no-go zone, set up around key areas including the presidential palace and the National Assembly on the Left Bank of the Seine River, has not been breached.

At least eight people, including two police officers, were injured, while dozens of protesters were detained, including for throwing projectiles. In La Madeleine, an area filled with luxury brand shops popular with tourists, businesses shut down due to the protests. In other cities, such as Lyon and Marseille, protests were more peaceful.

The diesel fuel tax has gone up seven euro cents (nearly eight U.S. cents) and will keep climbing in coming years, according to Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne. The tax on gasoline is set to increase by four euro cents. Gasoline currently costs about 1.64 euros a liter in Paris ($7.06 a gallon), slightly more than diesel.

Macron, however, has said that gas tax increases are necessary to reduce France’s dependence on fossil fuels and fund renewable energy investments.

The protests are the latest blow for Macron, who has been dogged by sinking internal poll ratings for months, dropping into the 20s as he has struggled to shed the perception that he is an out-of-touch elitist.

Responding to those concerns, Macron has noted that he does not face any midterm elections and told Bloomberg News in October he intends to keep “exactly the same pace” with his reforms

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