Pritzker: Tax, Fee Hikes Will Pay For Needed Projects

Andy Dahn
June 04, 2019 - 5:22 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Craig Dellimore

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Despite new hikes in state taxes and fees, Gov. Pritzker says Illinois remains an attractive place to live.

The varoious increases will help pay for a $45 billion public works plan passed by the General Assembly in the final days of its spring session, one that Pritzker said he's proud of.

"You've got to look at how to pay for these things," Pritzker told reporters inside Palmer House Tuesday afternoon. "It's very important that you do it properly. I think it was a good, bipartisan endeavor. Many of the roads that people are driving on haven't been dealt with for 20 years."

Starting next month, the state's 19-cent-per-gallon gas tax will double, license plate fees will go up $50 dollars and cigarette and e-cigarette sales will also see a tax increase.

"Illinois is back," Pritzker said. "People are wanting to stay here. People want to come here. Businesses are able to grow."

Meanwhile, Pritzker is hopeful the gambling bill passed by the General Assembly over the weekend will generate jobs and opportunities for those in need, no matter where Chicago's casino sets up shop.

The old Michael Reese Hospital and McCormick Place are among potential sites, but Pritzker said it won't need to be in the heart of downtown to attract visitors.

"It's important that we balance interests. It's not just about maximizing every dollar."

He said he also plans to address gambling addiction across the state.