State lawmakers should 'cut wasteful spending', not raise gas tax, Village of Elizabeth president says
Illinois lawmakers would do better to make reforms and do some budget cutting instead of raising the state's motor fuel tax by a proposed 20 to 30 cents, a Village of Elizabeth official said during a recent interview.
"I would rather see us cut wasteful spending in the whole Illinois budget first before raising taxes," Village of Elizabeth President Michael Dittmar said during a NW Illinois News email interview.
Dittmar, who also is chairman of the Jo Daviess County Republican Central Committee, was re-elected as Elizabeth's president during the 2017 consolidated general election.
Dittmar's comments to NW Illinois News came less than a week after suburban mayors and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called on lawmakers in Springfield to raise Illinois's motor fuel tax by 20 to 30 cents a gallon. Should that proposal be implemented, Illinois's motor fuel tax proposal that could go from the 10th highest to the highest in the U.S., nudging out Pennsylvania.
Emanuel's term as mayor of Chicago, a position to which he was elected in 2011 and re-elected in 2015, will end in May.
Illinois's transportation infrastructure is badly in need of attention, Dittmar said.
"I think our roads are in horrible shape and that we need to do a better job fixing them," he said.
Dittmar said he doesn't trust Illinois's powerful and long-time state House Speaker Michael Madigan and the state's new governor-elect, J.B. Pritzker—both Democrats—to do the right thing about the state's transportation infrastructure.
Pritzker doesn't take office until next month, but he has indicated some support for a motor fuel tax hike.
"After 200 million dollars of highway money that went to the Presidential Library, I don't trust Madigan and J.B. to put the extra money from the gas tax to the right place anyway," Dittmar said.