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New Illinois Fuel Tax Proposed

CHAMPAIGN-- A state-wide organization is urging Illinois lawmakers to pass a new fuel tax that would fund road repairs. The Transportation for Illinois Coalition is comprised of dozens of Illinois businesses and organizations whose focus is to secure funding for transportation needs. With the average price of gas in East Central Illinois already near the highest in the country, many aren't excited about the possibility of paying more.

Travis Pete of Champaign says, "Basically trying to figure out how to get the money for the gas because they seem like they're raising it up every 5 seconds." Tondalia Roberts of Champaign says, "Well I think they're going to start worrying about their cars, and it's going to be so expensive that they're just going to end up riding the bus."

The proposed legislation would remove the current 19-cents a gallon fuel tax and replace it with a 9.5 percent wholesale tax. The funds would go to repairing roads, bridges, and rails.

Pete says, "A few roads over here that's really bad. But I feel like it's a really bad recession and I feel like something needs to get done about it." Analysts predict the new tax would have drivers paying 14 cents a gallon more than they currently do. With local drivers paying above-average prices already, many are looking for any alternatives. Roberts says, "I think they are changing the way that they drive, and I think there is an increase in ridership."

Adam Rife reporting