Trucking Group Vows to Renew Fight Against Illinois Fee

The Mid-West Truckers Association says it will resume its legislative battle this month against a new Illinois trucking fee.

The association is fighting to repeal a commercial distribution fee and to reinstate a rolling stock exemption that was changed in July. The commercial distribution fee adds a 36 percent surcharge to state truck registration.

Persons who pay the fee on commercial trucks weighing more than 8,000 pounds are exempt from state sales tax.

The fee and the exemption change were part of Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s effort to find revenue for the state budget, which was $5 billion in the red when he took office last January.

On Nov. 20, the Senate sent the House an amended HB 852 during its fall veto session, which ended the next day. The bill would phase out the fee and revert the exemption to its former state in three years, but was amended to two years.

But no action on the bill is expected before the legislature returns to session Jan. 14, said Don Schaefer, association executive vice president.

To fight the fee and exemption change, the association’s Trucker Lobby Day brought 240 trucks to the capitol in Springfield Nov. 18. Truckers rallied on the capitol steps protesting the fee and the state’s failure to end split speed limits, he said.

In November, Blagojevich vetoed a bill that would have equalized car and truck speeds on rural divided four-lane highways. The House of Representatives fell just short of votes necessary to override his veto.

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