101st House hopeful sees Illinoisans already running on empty before gas tax
Dan Caulkins doesn't see the logic in the talk by some lawmakers of raising the gas tax in Illinois.
“They say they want the money to be able to fund capital projects across the state,” he told the Macon Reporter. “But that doesn’t make sense because Illinois already has one of the highest gas taxes in the country and our roads are in terrible disrepair. I would think the highest priority for gas tax money would have always been roads and bridges, and yet our roads are crumbling.”
The 70-year-old Caulkins recently announced his 2018 Republican run to replace retiring Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) in the 101st District. His campaign includes saying he is so committed to helping get things back on track that he won't collect a salary if elected.
“The people I’m talking to are fed up and they’re looking for someone to go to Springfield to stand up for conservative principles,” he said. “This isn’t about a job for me; this is more about recognizing that the tax-and-spend issue is one of biggest drivers of this election and understanding that people in the 101st want change.”
The former Decatur councilman recently took to Facebook to discuss the $36.1 billion state budget that carries a 32 percent income tax hike, and most responses have been almost identical.
“People are not happy about it, and they want to know how government has been spending all the money they’ve already being gouging them for,” Caulkins said. “The political class in Springfield is in denial in thinking they can continue to spend money and the people of Illinois are just going to stand for it.”
In the Facebook post, Caulkins also points out that Chicago drivers now pay a 49.5 cents per gallon tax with an additional sales tax, compared with 41.4 cents in downstate Carbondale.
"The gas tax is a regressive tax that hits the working class and poor the hardest and helps drive transportation companies out of Illinois," he posted.