Illinois roads are going to be improved in the next few years. Unfortunately, it’ll cost more to drive on them. On Oct. 11, driver’s license fees in Illinois will triple to $30. In January, $30 vehicle title fees will jump to $95, and vehicle registration fees will cost $99, an increase of $20. Those and some related fee increases for secretary of state services will provide more than $300 million a year in new funding to help pay for the state’s multibillion-dollar capital construction plan.

Illinois roads are going to be improved in the next few years. Unfortunately, it’ll cost more to drive on them.

On Oct. 11, driver’s license fees in Illinois will triple to $30. In January, $30 vehicle title fees will jump to $95, and vehicle registration fees will cost $99, an increase of $20. Drivers with January renewal deadlines will see the increase on notices sent in December.

Those and some related fee increases for secretary of state services will provide more than $300 million a year in new funding to help pay for the state’s multibillion-dollar capital construction plan.

Vehicle fee increases make up the biggest chunk of capital plan funding, outstripping increases to taxes on alcoholic beverages, sugary snacks and cosmetic products, as well as new revenue from video gambling. They’ll also affect most Illinoisans.

But that’s the point, Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, has said. By spreading the taxes over various areas, most residents will be affected, not just one or two groups.

Still, people are mixed on whether it’s a good idea.

“The state needs a capital bill,” Brent Garner of Rockford said. “It’s probably one of the least painful” ways to pay for it.

Farrell Cox of Rockford said this is not the time to raise fees. He said the state should make do on the road work funds it has, including vehicle fees and fuel taxes. “I took a pay cut, why don’t (they) take a cut, too? It’s legalized extortion.”

Half of all vehicle fees go into the state’s road fund, which covers maintenance and construction projects. The other half goes to driver’s education or other needs, depending on the fee.

Thomas V. Bona can be reached at (815) 987-1343 or tbona@rrstar.com.