Donning yellow jackets, Representatives Allen Skillicorn and Jeanne Ives spoke out Tuesday against the idea of Illinois becoming the state with the largest tax on motor fuel at a press conference in Chicago.
“The worst kept secret in Springfield is a rumored massive gasoline and diesel tax hike,” Skillicorn said. “Just when gas prices are finally lower right before the holidays, greedy politicians, like the Grinches they are, seem all too willing to take more of our hard-earned money. Nothing like greedy politicians to ruin the holidays for middle class families.”
The motor fuel tax in Illinois is currently more than 37 cents per gallon plus an additional 6 and a quarter to 10 and a quarter percent sales tax on top of the motor fuel tax (sales tax rates vary depending on location). Raising the gas tax by 30 cents per gallon, which Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed, would mean Illinois would have the highest gas tax in the nation at more than 71 cents per gallon – about 22% higher than the next highest state of Pennsylvania.
“Illinois is already taxed enough,” Skillicorn said. “Just a year ago we hiked income taxes by 32 percent for individuals. We do not need more new taxes. In addition, many border communities and towns located adjacent to Interstates will be unfairly penalized by this hike. For example, the village President of Hampshire, IL, Jeff Magnussen, warns this hike will drive down crucial sales for his village and hurt his community. Rest assured this punitive tax would not only damage border communities, but it would hurt families across the state.”
Long-term, Skillicorn said the prudent course would be to work with our congressional delegation.
“There seems to be strong support for a major infrastructure funding bill at the federal level,” Skillicorn said. “We need to wait and see what is happening with transportation funding at the federal level and how Illinois will benefit from it. Let’s think strategically here for a change. Rushing in to approve a massive gas tax hike just because fuel prices are low is reprehensible. We need to be strategic about funding roads, not predatory.”