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How the state infrastructure bill affects Chicago’s crumbling roads, transit

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The governor’s plan raise existing taxes and add new ones

NurPhoto via Getty Images

On Saturday, after an extension of the spring session, lawmakers decided on key legislation involving a state capital bill for infrastructure—something Illinois hasn’t had in about a decade.

Governor JB Pritzker proposed a $45 billion plan to repair Illinois’ deteriorating infrastructure over six years. The proposal calls for nearly $1.8 billion in tax increases.

“After years of neglecting our state’s roads, bridges, mass transit, and buildings, Illinoisans’ health and safety have been jeopardized, and job creation has been hindered,” said Governor Priztker. “The Rebuild Illinois plan will reinvigorate our economy and strengthen our rightful status as the transportation and supply chain hub of the nation.”

In order to generate the billions of dollars needed, the state would:

  • Hike the gas tax from 19 cents per gallon to 38 cents.
  • Raise vehicle registration fees from $101 to $199 for vehicles up to 3 years old, $169 for vehicles 4 to 6 years old, $139 for vehicles 7 to 11 years old, and $109 for vehicles 12 years and older.
  • Electric vehicles would have a registration fee of $250 per year, instead of $34 every other year.
  • Add a fee of $1 to ride-hailing trips with companies like Uber and Lyft.
  • Introduce a new 7 percent tax on cable, satellite, and streaming services like Netflix.
  • A 50 percent increase on taxes for beer, wine, and liquor.
  • Rates for daily and hourly parking garages would see a 6 percent tax add-on.
  • The real estate transfer tax (RETT) would double on non-residential real estate

How much of this revenue would Chicago see? The package details $350 million in funding to fix rail congestion and traffic delays. The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) would get an additional $3.2 billion for infrastructure projects, which includes $60 million for repairs on the Green Line Cottage Grove station.

Earlier in May, top transit officials in Chicago called for an annual investment of $2 to $3 billion over the next decade. However, RTA chairman Kirk Dillard said that’s just not enough.