Palatine supervisor decries potential gas tax hike
Sharon Langlotz-Johnson, Palatine Township supervisor, argues lawmakers in Springfield would be prudent to do more with all they already have before putting more burdens on taxpayers.
“The state and city should look for areas of duplication and waste first,” Langlotz-Johnson told North Cook News of talk of a proposed increase in the state gas tax. “Instead, they want to just add more money in the mix from already-stretched taxpayers.”
Led by outgoing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a group of local lawmakers is pushing for an increase of as much as 30 cents per gallon to the tax, with the added revenue being earmarked for much-needed infrastructure projects.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, expressed an openness to the idea as part of a much larger capital spending plan.
With Census Bureau figures showing Illinois losing population at record-setting levels, Langlotz-Johnson says, she fails to see the logic in any of it.
“People are struggling now, and those who are at their most difficult time won’t be able to afford to drive to work,” she said. “The taxpayers are the state.”
Langlotz-Johnson said lawmakers across the state would be wise to consider taking the same approach that’s now making a difference in Palatine.
“[The] Palatine Township Town Fund/General Assistance is reducing their levy even after keeping it the same for several years,” she said. “We have worked within our means, something the state and city still need to learn how to do."
As for the state’s money woes, Langlotz-Johnson said they have been building for what seems like forever.
“It is unfortunate that overspending has occurred since the George Ryan days,” she said. “Jim Edgar left the state with a reserve, and everyone else saw it as a spending fund. We will never catch up unless someone has the courage to do what is right. Pritzker believes he will be in charge. He will learn quickly, everyone does, to do what [House Speaker Michael] Madigan tells them to do.”