State Representative Allen Skillicorn (R-Crystal Lake) is questioning why Illinois is rushing toward an infrastructure plan while discussions at the federal level for the most ambitious infrastructure plan in U.S. history are still ongoing. The federal plan could be anywhere from $1 to $2 trillion dollars. Illinois stands as a major cross point for rail and roads connecting east to west, and with the 5th highest GDP in the nation, Illinois would be a vital part of any plans the federal government finally decides upon.
However, the talk emanating from Springfield gives the impression that there are not any national infrastructure spending plans at all. Gov. Pritzker and the Democrat majority appear intent on cramming bills into the next nine days that could tax everything from plastic bags, internet streaming and cigarettes, to doubling gas taxes and raising fees on electric vehicles up to $1,000 dollars annually to fund transportation. These actions would make you think Illinois has not made any progress in maintaining infrastructure, but it has. According to the Federal Highway Administration, in 1992 18% of the state’s bridges were considered structurally deficient. That dropped by 50% in 2017 to less than 9%. In addition, the roughness index has dropped 35% since 1995, with rural interstate dropping 65% and urban interstate dropping 48%, overall making the ride 20% smoother in 2017 than in 1995.
“Disdain for President Trump by our Governor and the Democrat majority have them ‘going it alone,’ pushing massive tax hikes onto the backs of Illinois families who already bear the crushing burden of the highest overall taxes in the nation,” said Skillicorn. “While there is no doubt that, as usual, dollars will be allocated in this year’s budget to maintain our infrastructure, there is no need to rush headlong into massive tax and fee increases based on the hype that has been created regarding it. Sitting down with the Trump Administration would be a better idea.”
Information from the Taxpayer Education Foundation was noted in this piece.