For every dollar the State of Illinois sends to the federal government in gas taxes, we receive approximately 98 cents back.
The 19-cent gas tax in Illinois was intended to be directed solely to the Road Fund and State Construction Fund and used exclusively for infrastructure improvements. However, According to the Illinois Economic Policy Institute, $6.8 billion in transportation funds was diverted by Illinois' legislature between FY02 to FY15 in order to plug budget deficits in non-transportation related areas. In 2016, nearly 80 percent of Illinois' voters passed a Constitutional Amendment to safeguard the Road Fund from these diversions into the General Revenue Fund. However, Illinois legislators passed a state budget in July 2017 that diverted $300 million from the Road Fund to pay for transit. Previously, the costs of maintaining and expanding came out of the General Revenue Fund. This redirection of funds has been a perpetual diversion, occurring on an annual basis -- something our crumbling transportation network cannot afford to continue. Although transit rail is a vital part of Illinois' transportation network, the gas tax is intended to be a user tax -- where revenues collected are put back into the same system to pay for repairs to the road network.