Another Potential Road Money Lock Box Case

From The Center Square:

Illinois lawmakers could test strength of ‘lockbox amendment’ with proposed cost shift

Illinois lawmakers are looking to free up some money in the state’s budget by using some motor fuel tax revenue to cover the cost of emissions testing, but the state’s Constitution may not allow it.

The last change to Illinois’ Constitution was the Illinois Transportation Taxes and Fees Lockbox Amendment, which voters passed in 2016. It forbids lawmakers from using transportation funds for non-transportation spending.

State Sen. Heather Steans’ bill, which passed both houses and now only needs Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature, would allow for the state’s emission testing done by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to be paid for using revenue generated by the Motor Fuel Tax, the state tax levied on each gallon of gas.

State Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, questioned if the 2016 Lockbox Amendment that bans road funds to pay for non-road fund spending means they can’t move forward with the proposed cost shift.

“If it’s not a violation of the letter of the Constitution, it is most certainly a violation of the spirit of the amendment that the voters voted for,” he said. “They were tired of the General Assembly and governors siphoning dollars off from the motor fuel taxes that they paid, which politicians told them would be spent on roads and bridges and mass transit.”

Steans, D-Chicago, said a legal team had reviewed the proposal.

“Our attorneys have taken a look at this and feels like it totally falls within the requirement of the lockbox constitutional amendment,” she said.

Illinois conducted emissions tests for more than 2 million cars in 2018 with an appropriation of $30 million


Another Potential Road Money Lock Box Case — 4 Comments

  1. Of course, the democrat attorneys say “it feels like it totally”

    Feels like?

    Is there anything in law that describes “feels like” a legal term?

    Where are the rocks these people crawl out of?

  2. Wait until the RTA and Metra reduce fares to increase ridership.

    Such a move would require the transfer of more taxes collected for roads to be used to subsidize the mass transit operations.

    Any Republican that bought into the increased taxes for roads is at best a fool.

    Springfield has one purpose:

    Subsidize Chicago.

  3. Communities will benefit from more tax dollars coming in, said Brad Cole, executive director of the Illinois Municipal League, a proponent of the measures.

    “It’s state government catching up with today’s technology in the retail world,” he said. “Welcome to the 21st century.”

    With the onus on online retailers to collect and remit sales taxes, consumers will not have to report on their tax returns their unpaid sales taxes for online purchases.

    State lawmakers approved the changes over the weekend as part of the budget and capital bills.

    The capital bill still awaits Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature.

    “Our biggest concern is the total tax burden facing the average Illinois resident,” he said.

    “All of the bills that were passed this session related to the budget and capital spending are essentially just ways to get more money from taxpayers.”

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