Illinois has a transportation based economy. Roads, bridges, rail, water and air transportation infrastructure are all essential to our economy. Unfortunately the budget problems in the state for years have prevented adequate funds from being allocated to transportation infrastructure and our roads and bridges are crumbling. Don Schaeffer, Exec Vice President of the Midwest Truckers Association says a planning group out of Chicago has proposed a massive funding proposal.
The CMAP plan, according to Schaeffer, calls for huge hikes in the motor fuel tax and other fees that look too aggressive, but it is a starting point for discussion. It also calls for a an amendment to the state constitution to prohibit Springfield from moving funds from motor fuel taxes to pay other bills, as has been the case recently. Meanwhile, the Midwest Truckers Association is working with other group to come up with their own funding proposals.
One idea worth investigating, says Schaeffer, is going from a per gallon fuel tax to a mileage tax. The technology is there to do that, but it would have to be a national system and there is little interest in Washington right now to pursue that option.