Motorists in Illinois should beware: a transportation advocacy group wants to raise your gasoline taxes, and if it happens, you can bet retailers would be forced to pass it on to you in the form of higher gasoline prices.

According to the Northwest Herald, the group wants to hike motor fuel taxes by 4 cents a gallon to fund a new road-building program that would replace a $31 billion, five year program that terminates this year.

Gas station and convenience store owners are expectedly livid. “This tax, as a retailer, would be pushed to the consumer. We as retailers live in penny profits and cannot afford to absorb this tax,” said Amy Chronister Ridley, vice president of Chronister Oil and Qik n EZ Convenience Stores, which operate in the Springfield area.

She appeared with other station owners alongside the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association at a news conference in Springfield. Together, they oppose a plan by the Transportation for Illinois Coalition to road repair continuing after this summer’s expiration of the Illinois Jobs Now construction program, which was implemented under Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

The proposed changes include a 4-cent increase on gasoline, a 7-cent hike on diesel fuel, raising vehicle registration fees, and stretching the sales tax to cover such things as auto work and car washes. The plan would also axe the ethanol credit for gasoline. According to the group, the funds raised would amount to $1.8 billion a year.

The plan presented by the group also called for diverting a significant portion of driving-related revenue from the general budget to fund transportation and roads. According to the group, the state hasn't put enough money into some road projects which has left a hole in maintenance of roads and highways.

Meanwhile, it's unknown if the plan will gain much traction in an election year, so we'll keep on top of this issue.