Illinoisans pay 2nd highest gas taxes in the nation

Illinoisans pay 2nd highest gas taxes in the nation

Illinoisans pay the nation’s second-highest gas taxes behind California thanks to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s automatic gas tax hikes. Illinois motorists faced two hikes in 2023.

Illinois motorists pay the second-highest gas taxes in the nation, according to new rankings from the Energy Information Administration. Between federal, state and local taxes, only Californians pay higher gas taxes than Illinoisans.

At 45.4 cents per gallon, Illinois motorists can expect to pay $222 a year in state gas taxes alone based on American Petroleum Institute gas usage estimates.

The latest July 1 hike of 3.1 cents was the second of 2023. Illinois has had automatic annual gas tax hikes since 2019 when Gov. J.B. Pritzker and state lawmakers doubled it and built in automatic increases.

In 2023, the state motor fuel tax has gone from 39.2 cents per gallon to 45.4 cents per gallon. In fact, Illinois has multiple layers of gas taxes: the motor fuel excise tax, a prepaid sales tax and underground environmental fees.

That’s without the federal tax and local taxes added by municipalities: motorists in Cook County pay an added motor fuel tax and sales tax.

Pritzker’s election-year budget delayed the automatic increase for July 1, 2022, to Jan. 1, 2023. The second increase of 2023 is the automatic inflation adjustment imposed every July 1 as the new state budget begins.

Middle- and lower-income families give up a greater share of their household budgets to gas. Illinois drivers who can fill up out of state, or at least out of Chicago and Cook County, will see savings.

Want more? Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you, we'll keep you informed!