2nd Pritzker gas tax hike this year to hit Illinois drivers July 1
Illinoisans face the second gas tax hike of 2023 on July 1. The 3.1 cent hike doesn’t need lawmaker approval, thanks to Gov. J.B. Pritzker implementing automatic gas tax hikes.
By the July 4 travel season, Illinois drivers will be paying 6.2 cents a gallon more in state gas taxes than they did during Christmas.
The motor fuel tax will be 45.4 cents per gallon on July 1. It was 19 cents a gallon in 2019, before Gov. J.B. Pritzker raised it.
Plus, this will be the second hike in the rate for 2023. That’s because Pritzker implemented an election-year delay in the automatic increase to the state gas tax. It was pushed back from July 1, 2022, to Jan. 1, 2023. The second hike of the year is coming July 1.
The Illinois Department of Revenue on May 25 announced the amount of the July 1 hike will be 3.1 cents – the same hike issued at the start of the year – for a grand total in 2023 of 6.2 cents per gallon.
Pritzker in 2019 doubled the state gas tax to pay for $45 billion in infrastructure. That increase to 38 cents from 19 cents came with automatic inflation adjustments every July 1, meaning state lawmakers no longer needed to take responsibility by voting for unpopular gas tax rate changes.
The new 3.1 cent increase brings Illinois’ motor fuel tax to 45.4 cents per gallon, up from 42.3 cents on Jan. 1 and 39.2 cents a year ago.
Illinoisans already pay some of the highest gas taxes in the nation. After the July 1 increase, Illinois will have the fourth-highest motor fuel excise tax in the nation. But the single tax doesn’t tell the whole story.
Illinois has multiple layers of gas taxes. There’s the motor fuel excise tax, a prepaid state sales tax and underground environmental fee. Some local governments also tack on their own taxes: motorists in Cook County pay an added motor fuel tax and sales tax.
Gas tax hikes disproportionally hurt lower-income residents, who give up a larger percentage of their paycheck to pay for gas.
Prices fluctuate with supply and demand. But unless lawmakers stop their non-stop gas tax increases, Illinoisans may soon find themselves paying the highest gas taxes in the nation.