By: John Klingner and Isabella Raynal
State Sen. Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) has proposed a bill that would allow local governments to impose a local gas tax. The senator’s proposal would allow municipal governments to vote on tax hikes of up to 3 cents per gallon to pay for the maintenance of local roads.
Municipal gas taxes would pile on yet another layer on top of the state and federal gas taxes that already exist. The proposal comes less than a year after the state passed a record gas tax hike of 19 cents a gallon as part of the state’s massive $45 billion infrastructure plan.
Add Cunningham’s proposal to the list of taxes that will swallow up Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s promised $65 in tax cuts from his progressive tax.
Hiking gas taxes
Last year’s tax hike pushed Illinois’ total gasoline taxes to the third-highest in the nation. Before the hike, Illinois’ gas taxes ranked 21st in the nation.
Now, Illinois’ gasoline tax is 1.5 times higher than the national average and the highest among its neighbors. Illinois’ gas tax is over three times as high as Missouri’s.
Illinois politicians can’t seem to leave the gas tax alone.
Rep. Camille Y. Lilly (D-Oak Park) has even proposed a bill that would forbid Illinoisans from pumping their own gas, which would raise the cost of buying gas even more.
And it’s not just gas that’s eating up working families’ transportation budgets. Illinoisans are also paying more taxes for parking, vehicle registration fees, licensing and more.
It’s getting more and more expensive to own a car in Illinois. No wonder Illinois residents have been driving right out of the state for the past six years.