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Illinois Contemplating Gas Tax

Story by WBGZ Radio

Illinois' 34 cent-a-gallon state tax on gas is one of the highest in the nation. It's higher than all of our neighbors. And it's not the only tax on gas. Illinois also hits drivers with a sales tax on fuel. 

But those taxes, and the price that drivers pay at the pump, could soon be going up. 

One Illinois Republican says there's more than plenty of talk at the State Capitol about a gas tax increase to pay for new roads. In fact, state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, said the conversation seems to be narrowing in on how high the state will raise the tax. 

"I don't know how high we're going to go," Brady told Illinois News Network. "But certainly the governor and others want a capital bill. We want a capital bill. Our infrastructure is crying for a capital bill in the state of Illinois."

Brady isn't sure when lawmakers may sit down and formalize the plan to raise gas taxes in order to build new roads. 

But those talks may not be too far off. 

"I think that [a gas tax increase] may absolutely be where we can come together," Brady said. "Whether that's a five percent increase, I don't know. That's going to be the ultimate debate."

Brady said a new round of road construction could help improve the dwindling condition of Illinois' roads and potentially create thousands of jobs. 

Illinois last saw a new road, school, and bridge building program in 2009 under then-Gov. Pat Quinn. 

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