Get ready to dig even deeper into your wallets when filling up your gas tank if one Rockford Area legislator has his way.

A Rockford lawmaker in Springfield,  who normally opposes tax increases, has indicated he may support a whopper of a tax increase that could cost the average commuter in Illinois hundreds of additional dollars a year. Those who drive a truck for a living, could end up paying thousands of dollars a year.

Rockford State Sen Dave Syverson (R) is supporting a gasoline tax increase of as much as 5%. At current prices, that would add on an additional between 12 - 14 cents a gallon, if the legislation is passed. Not the 5 cents a gallon that was originally proposed, according to a report by the Illinois Policy Institute. Syverson's Senate colleague, Sen Dan Brady (R) of Bloomington, said in reference to the proposed gas tax increase:

"it" may absolutely be where we can come together. Whether that’s a five percent increase, I don’t know. That’s going to be the ultimate debate.”

It's simple math: 5% is a lot more than 5 cents.

New Illinois Gas Tax Could Be Much Higher
Sen Dave Syverson / ILGA Photo

Rockford area residents took to Sen Syverson's Facebook page to express outrage.

When asked about his support for the gasoline tax increase, Syverson said

Saying does not fix your state or local roads. Off of the gas tax goes to local governments to fix their roads and to keep pressure off of raising taxes. I warned over and over the last 20 years what would happen if you let state and local government build more and more new road without fixing current one. I also warned about building all these new bike paths and sidewalks many that never get used that somebody would have to maintain them. So here we are driving less and using more fuel-efficient cars so less is coming in in gas tax revenue than five years ago. If we don't fix it now we have to fix it later or just a higher cost. Sorry, I didn't create the problem I'm just trying to be honest about it. More to come

Illinois also recently passed a "secret gas tax" this past summer that Illinois consumers are already paying. This would mark the second gas tax increase in less that three months in the Land of Lincoln.

Hypocrisy for Sen. Syverson? You decide. When the back door gas tax was approved earlier this summer, Sen. Syverson rallied against it. He said:

...a tax at the wholesale level, which raises the retail price. This move will add approximately 5 cents a gallon. ($95 million total) Yet another reason why this budget plan was wrong.

The proceeds from the new gas tax are intended for Illinois’ infrastructure.

Rockford's other members of the Illinois legislature, including house member Litesa Wallace (D – Rockford) and Sen Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford), typically support tax and fee increases and are likely to do so again. But, what is surprising is that Sen Syverson has opposed gas taxes in the past, now is suddenly supporting a whopper of a increase.

Catch Mark Charvat on Q98.5 from 3 p.m to 7 p.m.. Follow him on Twitter, and Facebook



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