Chicago gas prices surpass $6 a gallon

Chicago gas prices surpass $6 a gallon

Illinois gas taxes are driving extra pain at the pump, especially for Chicago residents.

Chicago gas prices set another record June 7 by surpassing $6 a gallon for the first time ever, according to AAA. Of the 10 largest U.S. cities, gasoline in Chicago is the fourth most expensive on average.

Patrick De Haan, who oversees petroleum analysis for price-tracking company GasBuddy, said prices are here to stay. “There’s no end in sight at this moment to prices tapering off.”

Higher fuel costs for businesses means customers pay more for goods besides gas. At $5.83 per gallon, diesel in Chicago has never been more expensive.

Antonio Rodriguez drives a van full of carpets around the city daily. He said his carpet-cleaning company had no choice but to raise prices.

“It’s not fair to small businesses, and it’s not fair to anyone, actually,” Rodriguez told Block Club Chicago. “As a business, our expenses pretty much doubled, and that goes on the customers a little bit. Less people are booking services.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot considered suspending the city’s gas tax to relieve motorists but opted for a lottery of prepaid gas and transit cards.

On the state level, Illinois ranks fifth nationally in gas prices, and second in gas taxes.

New York state, where gas is cheaper than Illinois, is suspending its gas tax for the rest of the year. The only relief Illinois is getting is a tax hike delay until 2023.

Automatic annual gas tax increases signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in 2019 ignore inflation, which has pushed fuel prices to an all-time high. Putting an end to annual gas tax hikes is a common-sense reform that would benefit middle- to low-income families the most.

Click here to use our gas price calculator to see how much Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s gas tax hikes are costing you.

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