The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

September 21, 2013

Illinois lawmakers eye scrapping gas tax

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Several Democratic state representatives have signed on to legislation that would eliminate the sales tax Illinois places on gasoline.

The bill would remove the 6.25 percent tax effective July 1, 2014, the (Springfield) State Journal-Register reported.

Decatur Democrat Sue Scherer, a co-sponsor of the bill, said it would bring some “much-needed relief” to constituents who are feeling pain at the pump.

“The people I represent are frustrated by high gas prices, and high state taxes that add to their burden,” Scherer said.

The bill’s chief sponsor, Marengo state Rep. Jack Franks, said he thinks the bill has “a very good shot” and that he hopes it will be heard during the fall veto session that begins in late October.

But the measure likely faces an uphill battle in a Democrat-controlled Legislature where lawmakers already are dealing with budget shortfalls, billions in unpaid bills and a temporary income tax increase that’s scheduled to begin being rolled back in January 2015.

Of the 6.25 percent tax, 5 percent goes to the state, 1 percent to municipal government and a quarter percent to county government.

Sue Hofer, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Revenue, said the state’s share of the tax brought in $779 million during the fiscal year that ended in June. The portion received by municipal and county governments was about $195 million.

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