If you have lived any length of time in the Land of Lincoln you are well aware of how bad the financial situation is for the State of Illinois. The state is way behind in its payments to many school districts and agencies and has been for a long time. So how do you correct this problem? The obvious way is by cutting your expenses and finding new revenue. Basically, that's the dilemma that new Governor Bruce Rauner is facing.

All Illinois State Agencies are being asked to cut 20% of their budget for 2015 by Rauner. But there is only so much you can cut. That's where the revenue side needs to be addressed. What I am about to say will probably make most of you shake your head and say I am crazy for even thinking it but here goes.

An immediate opportunity has fallen into the lap of Illinois lawmakers and they need to take advantage of it. With gas prices being as low as they are right now, I feel an 11 cent increase in the motor fuel tax (to 30 cents a gallon) would seem to me to be a good thing to implement now. The hardship on people would not be as difficult as if gas was still $3.25 a gallon or higher. Think of the revenue that could be raised without creating a major hardship on Illinoisans?  Missouri is already considering it.

I would keep this elevated tax on gasoline until the price of gas reaches $2.50 a gallon. Once it goes above $2.50 a gallon then the tax rate returns to its current rate of 19 cents a gallon. The implementation of this plan may be unrealistic, but it is time to get creative if we ever want to get out of the huge hole Illinois is in.

I know this is not going to be popular, but to get this state out of its fiscal doldrums there may never be a better time to do this. Who knows when we will ever get this opportunity again.

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