- Nov 07, 2016
- By Calvin Boender
- Calvin Boender
If you live in Illinois you will find on the November 8th ballot a simple yes or no vote for the Illinois Transportation Taxes and Fees Lockbox Amendment. This amendment, if voted into our constitution, will be just what the title refers to, a lockbox for all the transportation related taxes to be used only for transportation projects. If you’re like me, you probably drove to the polls and noticed the decrepit state of the roads we use everyday. I often feel I should were a mouth guard when I’m driving around for the bone rattling potholes and the quick-fix patchwork of asphalt squares.
Our roads look more like my grandmother’s quilts than an actual driving surface. It may cause us some minor annoyance but the quality of our roads and rails in this state is vital to Illinois’s economy. Although Indiana has claimed to be the “Crossroads of America” Illinois is truly a transportation hub and we depend more and more on an infrastructure that is rapidly crumbling before our very eyes.
In the early to mid 19th Century, many small Midwestern settlements were hoping to become the next frontier hub. St Louis succeeded to an extent, Milwaukee held its own for a while but Chicago grew and grew, out pacing everyone else in the Midwest. We owe that growth to the fact that it was and will continue to be a transportation hub for the interior of our nation. With 7 major interstates, river access to Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes access to the upper Midwest and Atlantic and one of the busiest air traffic centers, Chicago, and Illinois as a whole, depends on the moving of goods as the hinge pin of our economy. We may no longer be the hog butcher to the world but we sure move a lot of goods through our borders.
I think we need to look forward as a state and realize that robbing Peter to pay Paul with these transportation taxes is short-sighted and will lead to more economical issues down the bumpy road (as if we can afford any more). The fact that our state is in such a fiscal predicament is all the more reason to invest in the vary infrastructure that allows Illinois to progress into the future with a fighting chance of correcting the ship in these stormy waters. If we don’t pass this amendment, lawmakers will continue to siphon off funds for fixing their own screw-ups while our rails and highways deteriorate. Major companies will seek alternative locations to base their operations and Illinois will continue to lose out.
So, please consider voting for the Illinois Transportation Taxes and Fees Lockbox Amendment when you’re at the polls this November.