Gas tax issue up in the air

By Kelsey Gibbs |

Published 04/14 2014 04:38PM

Updated 04/14 2014 05:13PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Critics say "no" to a tax increase on fuel. They say it wouldn't just dig into customers' pockets, but hurt businesses as well. Gas station companies are asking the state to put the brakes on a gas tax increase to better roads. WCIA-3's Kelsey Gibbs has the story.

The Transportation for Illinois Coalition wants to raise the state's gas prices to help repair roads. But, gas station owners say, "not so fast."

Opponents of the tax say the state already endures some of the highest gas prices in the country. Amy Chronister-Ridley, vice president of Qik-n-EZ, says Illinois' high fuel prices are causing motorists to take their business elsewhere.

"I think we are benefiting our surrounding states by increasing this. We're sending people to the other states, making those roads better and we're not helping ourselves in the long run."

The proposal calls for a four cent increase in the gas tax. Proponents also call for higher vehicle registration fees and ending the ethanol credit for gasoline.

Illinois' five-year capital construction program is set to run out this year. The state gas tax hasn't been increased since 1990.

The gas tax isn't just a state issue. The city of Bloomington is looking at ways to balance its budget. Aldermen may study how a gas tax would help the city. They say it wouldn't necessarily help with a deficit, but would help pay for street repairs every year.

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