Quinn in secret talks with legislators about new tax options - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Quinn in secret talks with legislators about new tax options

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

FOX 32 News has learned that a menu of potential tax increases is on the table in secret talks between Governor Quinn legislative leaders in Springfield.

Governor Quinn has quietly told legislative leaders that Illinois's capital construction program needs up to $300 million in new taxes and fees. The revenue that was expected from such sources as video poker machines is falling far short.

FOX 32 News has learned he's offering legislators a list of options.

Several would hit motorists; including a higher sales tax on new cars, to bring in $250 million. Raising the car rental sales tax: $30 million.

Likely to raise prices at the fuel pump: eliminating current tax breaks for biodiesel and ethanol would raise $185 million to $230 million.

Other proposals targeting the energy industry would impose new natural gas-fracking fees on drillers downstate, to raise an estimated $55 million; a new oil drilling severance tax would raise $25 to $30 million; and closing a loophole specifically for the oil industry would bring in another $75 million.

The governor told legislators that he doesn't need all of it and that they can choose any combination of new taxes and fees, as long as it comes close to $300 million.

There are other taxes on the list too, including $75 million on satellite TV subscribers, a fee on digital entertainment downloads and an internet sales tax.

None of this would be used to reduce the state's huge pile of unpaid bills or unfunded public employee pensions--it's just for highway, transit and other capital projects.

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