Madison - St. Clair Record

Saturday, July 20, 2019


Illinoisans' pain at the pump will be more acute than ever now that the state's motor fuel tax has doubled to 38 cents per gallon from 19 cents.

So much for the tax relief Gov. Pritzker promised Illinois' middle class. Residents will end up paying more in new gas taxes than they'll get in cuts from the governor's progressive tax plan.

The state has long frustrated residents with high gas taxes. Illinois is only one of seven states to hit consumers with both a motor fuel tax and a sales tax at the gas pump. Illinoisans pay a 6.25 percent state sales tax on gasoline purchases. Many residents also pay additional city and county sales taxes on their gas.

The state's 19 cent hike, the nation's largest, has skyrocketed Illinois to near the top of the national ranking for combined taxes on gas. Before the hike, Illinois’ gas taxes ranked 21st in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation. Now Illinoisans will pay the 3rd-highest combined taxes on gas.

The gas tax hike is just one of many new taxes lawmakers passed this year to fund the 2020 budget and the new, record $45 billion capital spending plan. There's also higher cigarette taxes, new taxes on parking, expanded gambling and sports betting taxes, and new license and vehicle registration fees, to name a few.

But the gas tax is certainly the most painful. With this new hike, Gov. Pritzker and progressive tax proponents just broke their promise to give tax relief to Illinois' middle and lower class.

Remember that when the progressive tax amendment comes on the ballot next year. Proponents are going to promise the middle class a tax cut, but it won’t be true.

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