Trucking Fees

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

Many say trucks are the wheels that drive our economy. But in Illinois, hundreds of trucking companies and truck drivers are riding out of town.

"It’s affecting our business greatly. A lot of people are leaving Illinois and going to other states to set up businesses. That's really sad because what are we going to do then?" said Beth Schwebke, co-owner of Winnebago Cartage Co. in Garden Prairie.

In an effort to ease a five billion dollar deficit, Governor Rod Blagojevich pushed for changes that have sent truckers on an economic skid.

New laws increased truck registration fees by 36 percent, eliminated a sales tax exemption, and imposed a new commercial distribution fee.

"It’s really a hardship on all us smaller trucking businesses right now. And there's been a lot that have gone under," said Schwebke.

Some reports show these fees have force 2,700 trucking companies to leave Illinois. State legislators are concerned this will hurt the state's economic recovery.

For now Winnebago Cartage is dealing with layoffs and cutbacks, but Schwebke hopes efforts to repeal these fees gain momentum.


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