Truth Test: RGA ad claims JB Pritzker "considering" mileage tax - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Truth Test: RGA ad claims JB Pritzker "considering" mileage tax

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WSIL -- A number of ads in the Illinois governor's race attack Democratic candidate JB Pritzker for floating the idea of a mileage tax on vehicles. 

Tuesday we tested an ad from Governor Bruce Rauner's campaign. At issue now, a similar ad from the Republican Governors Association (RGA). 

"Buying a car, you pay a sales tax. Fill it up, you pay a gas tax. But how would you feel about paying a tax just to drive," the ad asks. 

The new ad from State Solutions, Inc., a non-profit founded by the RGA attacks JB Pritzker for considering a vehicle miles traveled tax. 

"That's the plan JB Pritzker is considering," the ad claims. "Charge a new tax per mile you drive in Illinois."

The ad is similar to one we truth tested Tuesday from Governor Bruce Rauner's campaign. We rated that ad mostly false, because wording matters. 

The ad we previously truth tested from Rauner uses definitive statements that aren't verifiable. 

First, Rauner's ad claims JB Pritzker wants a vehicle miles traveled tax.

"JB Pritzker wants to raise our income taxes, but worse yet he wants a car tax," Rauner's ad claims.

Pritzker has called the idea of a miles traveled tax "something we should look at" but that's a far cry from actually supporting implementation.

In addition, Rauner's ad claims a miles traveled tax will include a tracking device on your car. 

"But worse yet he wants a car tax which will also come along with a tracking device," the ad says.

There is no evidence to back up that claim.

While a GPS device is one way to track miles, proposals here in Illinois included several non-technological ways of reporting. 

Now the second ad, from State Solutions, uses less definitive wording, which makes it more accurate. 

"That's the plan JB Pritzker is considering. Charge a new tax per mile you drive in Illinois," State Solution's ad says.

Instead of saying Pritzker wants a mileage tax, State Solution's ad says he's considering it, which a January interview with the Daily Herald shows.

The ad also watches its wording about a tracking device.

While Rauner's ad says the state will install one, State Solutions' ad says it might install one.

"Not only would they charge you just for driving, but they might even install a state GPS in your car to keep track of it," the ad claims.

That claim is accurate, because past proposals in Illinois and other states, while not requiring GPS devices, do offer it as a mile-tracking method.

Because of these important differences in wording, while we rated Rauner's ad mostly false, we rate the ad from State Solutions true.

News 3 will be fact-checking politicians throughout the election season, so if there's a claim you want us to truth test, email truthtest@wsiltv.com.

You can view previous Truth Tests here

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