Holiday travel comes with hefty price for Illinois gas

Holiday travel comes with hefty price for Illinois gas

About one-third more people will be on the road this holiday season. For Illinoisans, the gas to get home for the holidays will be pricey.

This year’s AAA holiday travel forecast estimates a little over 100 million drivers on the road, one-third more than last year. Travel tip for Illinoisans: Fill up out of state.

This holiday season, travelers are making up for lost time after 2020 caused many to cancel vacations and get-togethers. AAA’s holiday travel forecast estimates an additional 21 million drivers on the road this year between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2.

Illinoisans are penalized for their holiday travel by gasoline taxes that on Dec. 17 made a gallon between 48 cents and 33 cents more expensive than in bordering states. The state in 2019 doubled the tax on a gallon from 19 cents to 38 cents, plus built in annual hikes that currently have the tax at 39.2 cents.

The gas tax increase costs each Illinois driver $105.67 more per year than before the gas tax doubled. And they will pay even more after July 1, 2022, when the next automatic inflationary adjustment kicks in.

Drivers in Illinois on Dec. 17 were paying $1.16 more per gallon than a year ago.

Data from the Tax Foundation found Illinois’ average gas tax rate was the second-highest in the nation – with California’s being the highest – and far more than any neighboring state.

Even if you’re traveling within the state, head out of Chicago before you stop for gas. City and county taxes add $3.83 to a 15-gallon fill-up over what drivers will pay outside Cook County.

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