Illinois state gas tax to hit 47 cents July 1

Illinois state gas tax to hit 47 cents July 1

After July 1, Illinois motorists will be averaging $184 more in state gas taxes since Gov. J.B. Pritzker doubled them in 2019. Illinois motorists already pay the second-highest gas taxes in the nation, and inflation adjustments just take them higher.

Just before Independence Day travel season, Illinois drivers will be paying a bit more in state taxes when the motor fuel tax rises to 47 cents per gallon.

The state tax was 19 cents before Gov. J.B. Pritzker doubled it in 2019 to help fund $45 billion in infrastructure. State lawmakers agreed the tax would be adjusted for inflation each July 1, meaning they no longer would face taking a public vote on unpopular gas tax hikes.

Those inflationary adjustments took it from 38 cents in 2019 to the current 45.4 cents. Illinois Department of Revenue calculations set the new tax at 47 cents starting July 1. That means the average driver will be paying about $184 a year more in state gas taxes than when Pritzker took office.

Drivers pay far more than 47 cents in taxes on gas in Illinois. Besides the state’s share, there is also a federal tax, the prepaid state sales tax, underground storage tank fee and environmental impact fee. Some local governments also tack on their own taxes: motorists in Cook County pay an added motor fuel tax and sales tax. Illinois adds sales tax atop some fees – meaning Illinois drivers pay taxes on the taxes for gas.

All told, taxes and fees add over $1 per gallon to the price at the pump, or about 40% of the cost.

Motor fuel taxes are considered regressive, meaning they take a greater share from middle to low-income families. Compounding that, low-income drivers often drive older vehicles that are less fuel efficient.

Illinoisans currently pay the second-highest gas taxes in the nation behind only California, and by a fraction of a penny. The next ranking comes out after the July 1 inflation adjustment and Illinois may well be No. 1 – and not in a good way.

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