Will Transportation Systems Take a Toll on Pekin, Illinois Residents, and in the Housing Market?

The Local Records Office views how the Pekin, Illinois interstate highways have generated a network of wealth in the United States. Roads and infrastructure affect everything from property values to jobs, while also impacting the states’ tax and gas prices. Roads serve as barriers; provides access to communities while also can redirect traffic away from areas causing property values to fall.

The Trump administration released his infrastructure initiative of using $200 billion in federal money to spur the total of at least $1.5 trillion towards spending on new highways, water systems, and other construction projects. Trump announced at a news conference that this plan could create “thousands and thousands of jobs.”

While there are many factors when locating and designing modern transportation systems, specifically, ‘smart highways’, people are willing to pay the price when it comes down to getting the road they want and need.

Across Illinois locally, this plan will ease the financing to expand the O’Hare International Airport, while it also could mean more tolls and taxes for Illinois residents as well in other states. With transportation experts scratching their heads of how this money will fund these plans –it will require most money to from other states, local governments, and private companies, with the rest coming from the federal government in order to support these projects.

While homeowners search for the home with the perfect amount of bedrooms and necessary updates, the one major deal breaker is the road the property sits on. This has a significant impact on your home’s resale value, the length of time it takes to find a buyer, as a home sitting on a highway can be a major turnoff for buyers.

Although major noise may have a seriously negative impact on the property value for some individuals, the opposite may also be the case –where statistical models of one transit rail study showed that where every meter landed on, the house property value went up by $2.29. As the study also shows houses immediately adjacent to the station had sold for 38% more.

Another study does on property values and highway expansions show the home values depend on numerous factors, such as proximity, noise, emissions, vibrations, etc.

With public transportation climbing relatively high, from 1995–2015 has climbed up by 37 percent, almost double to the population growth, that increased by 21 percent, there have been nearly 2.6 billion trips taken on U.S. public transportation in the first quarter of 2016.

It is no wonder public transportation will actually add value to your home. Nearby transit can also help the preserve home values during real estate downturns, according to the study of home sales activity by the Chicago RE/MAX Northern Illinois. During the first 6 months of 2009, while the overall suburban Chicago home prices decreased in value by 19%, 32 Chicago suburbs served by Metra commuter trains saw an average price of homes declined by 15.2%.

With the new Trump proposal in place, it could mean several different things for Chicago and the rest of Illinois:

-A higher gas tax. And in order to have Illinois qualify for federal funding, the plan requires a higher local match, whereas it will need to increase transportation revenues, said Audrey Wennink, the transportation director for the Metropolitan Planning Council. And one way to do that is to hike the price of the gas tax, which is currently 19 cents a gallon and has not been raised since 1991.

And with a total of 31 other states who have approved plans to raise additional transportation revenues since 2012, through gas tax increases, including neighboring Indiana and Iowa, according to the Transportation for America, a national transportation advocacy group.

-A transportation tax, such as vehicle miles traveled tax. This type of tax is being tried on a limited basis in Oregon, where it charges cars a fee based on how many miles they travel inside their state, ensures users of the increasingly popular electric vehicles also get charged for their use of the roads. This idea of putting transponders in cars to tax per mile first floated in Illinois in 2016 but had faced opposition due to privacy concerns. With democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker discussing this concept last year, we still expect this to be unpopular in rural and suburban areas, where people have to drive long distances to get around.

-More tolls. The Trump initiative looks into leveraging more private investments into the transportation projects, but this does not work well for rural roads and bridges or for transit, because those kinds of projects do not pay enough good returns on investment. Though, it can work for projects with ongoing user fees, such as toll roads. The Illinois Department of Transportation is also considering tolling new lanes on the Stevenson Expressway. IDOT has discussed the new possibility of toll lanes on the Eisenhower Expressway as well, which was first built in the late 1950s and in the 60s, where it carries more vehicles than it was designed to handle says, Local Records Office.

-O’Hare funding. This new infrastructure proposal could also mean an expansion of the O’Hare through growth with the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan program (the TIFIA), said Elizabeth Coolidge, the regional head of public finance for the Midwest of UBS Wealth Management.

TIFIA provides low-interest loans that could be used to help pay for the multi-billion dollar renovation of the airport. “It’s definitely a lower-cost way of borrowing,” Coolidge proposed. She noted that this proposal would eliminate a tax penalty on certain private activity bonds — that are used for some public-private projects and could potentially attract more investors.

-Less money and less construction. Under the Trump, the initiative is there is a possibility the state will get less federal money than it has in the past and get less built, said the Illinois Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley.

With figures showing Illinois being the fifth busiest interstate highway in the nation, released by the Federal Highway Administration, according to figures, people drive about 31.033 billion miles on 23 of Illinois interstates. With the busiest being Interstate 90, where it runs from the Illinois-Wisconsin line to Illinois-Indiana state line on Chicago’s southeast side, the highway is approximately 108-miles in length, and had 3.619 billion miles traveled in 2011, according to the report. With the next busiest, the interstate 55 runs 295 miles long, connects Chicago to Bloomington and Springfield in central Illinois and the St. Louis area in southwestern Illinois. And the longest interstate, the I-57 runs 359 miles from 97th street and Wentworth Avenue on Chicago’s South Side to near Cairo at the more southern tip of Illinois.

Streets and highways are essential to the general welfare, for agriculture, industrial, recreational and social development of the State. In retrospect, the rapid growth of the State’s economy and increased use of public highways is a matter of public concern. And to that end, the intentions to provide integrated and systematic planning and orderly development in according with actual needs, according to the 605 ILCS from Ch. 121, par. 1–102.

Quigley described that “this could grind crucial construction programs to a screeching halt”. Meanwhile, Democratic Representative Dan Lipinski, a senior Illinois member on the U.S. House Transportation Committee, had explained the plan proposed “will not work” but hopes that it will spark a new discussion about financing “to fix our ailing infrastructure.”