Illinois officials propose gas tax increase

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Just as gas prices start to drop below two dollars a gallon–some Illinois officials want to hike the gas tax. The state currently has a 19 cent tax on gas, but that could soon change.

Right now, filling up your gas tank won’t break your wallet, as gas prices in Illinois are the lowest they’ve been in a while. But, there’s a proposal to increase the gas tax and people at the pumps are not happy.

“The gas prices are awesome right now,” Driver Abra Young said.

“The prices are great right now,” Driver Mark Smith said.” Is it going to last? Who knows, right?”

Who knows? That’s the theme at the gas pumps in Quincy– as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel–and several suburban mayors–want to raise the current 19 cent gas tax by as much as another 30 cents.

It’s a proposal that Young is not happy about, as she fills up her car.

“I know that Illinois is hurting for money, but there should be other ways for them to get the money instead of putting it on us, because it’s not our fault that Illinois doesn’t know how to manage that stuff,” Young said.

The proposal calls for the tax increase to be used to fund a major state-wide transportation bill and possibly a statewide infrastructure plan.

The opposition at the pumps is also being heard in Springfield, where Republican State Representative Allen Skillicorn spoke out Monday.

“That would put Illinois the highest gas tax in the nation,” Skillicorn said. “Currently we’re number ten, so we’re already above the curve.”

“They had the slot machines put in, they had the Illinois state lottery, and that was all for what? Where do you see that it helped? I don’t see anything,” Smith said. “The roads are in worse shape now than anywhere in Illinois.”

People said if they see a hike in the gas tax, they’ll go fill up elsewhere.

“They’re going to lose more people, I’m telling you,” Smith said. “People are going across to West Quincy all the time and they’re not saving a lot, but they’re saving enough to make it worthwhile going over there.”

Right now, there is no bill in place to raise the gas tax, but lawmakers are back in session this month.

Missouri’s gas tax is currently 17 cents per gallon, while Iowa’s gas tax is 30 cents per gallon.

 

Gasoline Taxes Per State

 

State Motor Fuel Taxes

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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