AARP Illinois has joined the nonprofit, nonpartisan Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) in a campaign to foster public discussion about the need to increase funding for transportation infrastructure.
The Accelerate Illinois campaign proposes to raise the state motor fuel tax and index it to inflation. Currently set at 19 cents per gallon downstate and 30 cents per gallon in Chicago and Cook County, the gas sales tax has not increased since 1991, and its value has plummeted because of inflation. Moreover, in recent years, Illinois has diverted more than $100 million in transportation user fee revenues to nontransportation needs.
Proponents of the campaign say funding is needed to repair roads and bridges in the region and to maintain public transit systems, which will need about $36 billion over the next decade to keep trains and buses running smoothly.