High Taxation Adds to Already Soaring Gas Prices
 
High Taxation Adds to Already Soaring Gas Prices
Written By Kristi Shaffer   |   04.09.22

Gas stations across the country are filled with drivers who are incensed by the rising prices at the pump. In the last year, gas prices have risen by nearly 50 percent and are currently at the highest level since 2008. Several factors have caused the soaring prices of gasoline, but in Illinois, we can blame the left’s proclivity for excessive taxation.

 

Indeed, many problems are adding to the rising prices. As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. is imposing a ban on all Russian imports. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. imported 3 percent of our crude oil and 20% of our petroleum products from Russia in 2021. The petroleum products are utilized in the refinery process to supplement our crude oil. Although the problems in Eastern Europe are affecting the prices, taxes exacerbate the problem. According to the Gas Buddy, an app dedicated to tracking gas prices, Illinois is within the top 10 of the highest gas prices in the nation at an average of $4.37 per gallon. California tops the list at an average of $5.80 per gallon.

 

While Illinois has high prices at the pump, surrounding states tend to have much lower prices. Missouri, for example, is currently paying an average of $3.72 per gallon. Missouri’s cost is slightly up as the state-approved its first gas tax hike in 25 years. The hike in Missouri’s taxes started in October with a 2.5 cent hike, which would recur every year for five years and then cease. In comparison, a law signed in 2019 doubled the gas tax from 19 cents to 38 cents per gallon in Illinois. The law calls for the gas tax to rise every year following the initial jump with no foreseeable end. The tax is now up to 39.2 cents per gallon and will increase this summer if nothing changes.

 

According to some experts, prices will continue to rise over the summer nationwide. In Illinois, if the tax hike is not frozen or rescinded, there is no doubt that the price will rise even more. Missouri’s officials recognized the bad timing of their slight increase in taxes and have approved a refund to any state taxpayer of 2.5 cents per gallon if they provide receipts. Some Republican leaders called for the sales tax to be frozen at 18 cents per gallon in Illinois, but little has changed our situation.

 

To  make matters worse, Illinois also has a flat rate motor fuel tax. We are one of only a few states with a double tax on fuel. Representatives from the Illinois Fuel and Retail Association and the Republican leaders feel that lowering the taxes could make Illinois more competitive. Every state that borders Illinois currently has lower gasoline prices. Any Illinois resident living near a border state is likely crossing the state line to fill their tank. Lowering our taxes and subsequently lowering gas prices will incentivize Illinoisans to purchase fill their tanks at home. We can increase our revenue and help our economy by simply making it affordable for our citizens.

 

Take ACTION: Click HERE to ask your state representative to co-sponsor and champion HB 5723. This proposal was introduced a few weeks ago by State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) and would cap the sales tax on gas at 18 cents per gallon for motor fuel and 80 percent of that amount for gasohol and biodiesel.

If you believe that Illinois should rescind the gas taxes and help Illinois make gas affordable for our citizens, please contact your Illinois representatives to ask them to support HB 5723. Then ask them to revoke the sales tax and stop the double taxation on our residents.  

This legislation is written to go into effect 30 days after it is signed into law. Rep. Batinick is a member of the International Trade & Commerce Committee.



Kristi Shaffer
Kristi Shaffer completed an Associates degree at Lewis and Clark Community College in 2006, she then graduated Magna Cum Laude from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a bachelor’s in history and a minor in Anthropology in 2009. She went on to complete a Masters in U.S. History at St. Louis University in 2013. Prior to entering the field of higher education and history, Kristi worked in the medical field for 13 years, 10 of that as Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Currently she is working as an adjunct instructor of history. She has taught in community colleges in both Illinois and...
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