Pritzker Threatens New Vehicle Mileage Tax
Gubernatorial candidate J. B. Pritzker plans to hike up Illinoisans’ already-crippling taxes if elected—and his income tax increase would be just the start.
Pritzker has proposed a Vehicle Mileage Tax, or VMT, to be taken from Illinoisans. As with most of Pritzker’s tax plans, he “doesn’t have a proposal” and has not presented any concrete details—but the implications are staggering.
Women Working for Change spoke to Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti about the impact this tax would have on hardworking Illinoisans, particularly those in suburban and rural communities.
“Distance is a big deal in our rural communities,” Sanguinetti said. “If you start taxing our farmers—people in our rural communities who…are already underserved—if you’re going to saddle them with this tax, that is absolutely punitive. Think about the distances they face. A lot of people in the Chicagoland region have everything nearby. But a tax like this on mileage in our rural communities would be absolutely devastating.”
This tax hike would adversely affect suburban parents, who do not have easy access to public transportation for work or for transporting their children to enriching activities.
Not only would Illinoisans be penalized for running daily errands, but tracking mileage for the bill presents serious ethical questions. Vehicles would be required to install GPS tracking devices, allowing the government to know their location at all times.
According to Sanguinetti, this is an invasion of privacy.
“It is not only Big Brother-like, but it is intrusive to Americans, period, to navigate freely if they pay for their own vehicle.”
Illinoisans pay enough in taxes. With a 32% income tax hike taking effect this year—championed by Mike Madigan—businesses and individuals in Illinois are struggling. And Pritzker’s policies would only make things worse.
“The whole underlying problem with J. B. is that he believes we can tax our way into prosperity,” Sanguinetti said. “For decades, we have seen that is not the formula. What we need are pro-growth measures in Illinois so businesses will find Illinois attractive, come here, and offer Illinoisans jobs. That is a pro-growth method—not taxing our way into prosperity, which does not work. And this is why J. B. is not going to work.”
Due to the high tax rates, many families and business have already left Illinois. It’s clear the solution to keeping workers and job-creating companies in Illinois is to lower tax rates, not raise them. Governor Bruce Rauner has worked hard to ensure we don’t experience new tax hikes, and to ensure a stronger future for the state.