The above headline was the tagline Wirepoints used in their daily email blast regarding the list of new taxes — here was the actual headline and the opening of the article by Mark Glennon:
Shattered Confidence In Illinois Government May Doom Even a Good Capital Bill
Governor Pritzker proposed a $41.5 billion “Rebuild Illinois” capital spending plan backed by a list of new middle classes taxes. Its size probably will be cut and the projects to be funded remain to be negotiated, though widespread recognition of legitimate capital needs means there’s a good shot something will pass.
But how will the public view it? Even if it’s negotiated into something reasonable, a major backlash may loom that could enrage the public and accelerate flight from Illinois.
There’s a case to be made for a capital spending program. In the world of government finance, capital spending is seen differently than routine budget spending. Capital spending goes towards building or maintaining assets of long term-term value like highways, airports and transit stations.
If done right, the public basically makes purchases that are financially sensible over the long run. Even strapped governments must make those investments to avoid permanent decline. User fees are regarded as best practice to pay for capital projects, and some of that is in Rebuild Illinois. Illinois’ capital infrastructure does need attention — most would agree that worthy projects are out there.
But that’s for finance wonks.
Joe and Mary Six-pack, however, will see something different, and fast. Here is the list of taxes on the table to pay for the program:
Gas tax hike — doubling Illinois’ motor fuel tax to 38 cents from 19 cents per gallon, effective July 1.
Vehicle registration fee hike – doubling the fee for newer vehicles.
New ridesharing tax of $1 per ride.
Expanding Chicago’s “Netflix tax” statewide — 7% tax on users of streaming services, cable and satellite customers.
Read more: Wirepoints