Gov Pritzker to Seek $41 Billion in a Capital Bill to Rebuild and Replace Illinois’ Infrastructure

Over the last six months, there’s been a slew of public hearings, and press conferences by both lawmakers, the Governor and interest groups all pushing for a new Capital bill. The last Capital Bill was passed 10 years ago.

The need for more spending on roads, bridges, and a slew of other projects involving fixes to existing structures and building new structures on college campuses and elsewhere is certainly needed.

Yet speculation on the Capital Bill was that it would be in the mid-30s — that it would top $40 billion in spending may surprise some — and lead to more taxation to pay for that, than was expected.

The list of new taxes and fees is already long and growing — a proposed $50 increase in license renewal, a new fee on liquor, proposed license fees on landscaping services, the list seems to grow by the day. Here’s some of the new taxes being considered to bring in additional revenue:

 A gas tax increase up approx. 25 cents per gallon
 An increase in the vehicle registration fee
 Liquor tax increase
 Video gaming tax hike – from 30% to 50%
 A Rideshare tax ($1.00 per ride for Uber, Lyft & others)
 A 7% hike on cable, satellite, and streaming services
 A real estate transfer tax (non-residential)
 A Parking garage fee increase
While both Republicans and Democrats are in favor of a new Capital Bill, and Interest groups point out the need for repairs by citing examples such as the recent closure of Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive, due dangerous support on a bridge, the political question is at what point to citizens feel they’re being nickled and dimed to death? 

At a recent press conference by Sen Martin Sandoval, noted the study by TRIP, a group out of Washington, that said some 40% of Illinois bridges and roads were in need of repair or replacement.

Sen Bill Brady, the Republican Senate Leader.

Following the release of the Governor’s request on Friday, Senate Republican Leader, Bill Brady said, “Members of my caucus, who were part of the capital working group, received a briefing on the governor’s proposal this afternoon.  We look forward to these discussions continuing as we work toward a plan that addresses our state’s critical infrastructure needs and creates jobs.”