Illinois Proposes Massive Tax Hike on Cars and Gas

Don’t laugh. The politicians in Madison from both parties are looking to Springfield with green eyes at proposals like this.

A proposed hike in Illinois’ annual registration fee for electric vehicles, from $17.50 to $1,000, is being called unfair by current EV owners, and a sales disincentive by manufacturers — just as the new technology is beginning to gain broader traction.

“It’s outrageous,” said Nicoletta Skarlatos, 56, of Chicago, who bought a Tesla Model S five years ago. “I thought Illinois was progressive and would want to encourage EV ownership.”

Aimed at raising money to make overdue road improvements across Illinois, the proposed legislation would also more than double the state’s gas tax to 44 cents a gallon and raise the registration fee for standard vehicles to $148, from $98, among other elements.

But the kicker is a nearly 60-fold increase in the electric vehicle registration fee — one that is sure to cause sticker shock across a nascent segment of the auto industry, which has depended on government incentives to entice early adopters.