Gary Meyers

Gary Meyers

“The impact of Illinois taxes on our business and any others near the border of a neighboring state is enormously negative.”

“We run an 18-acre truck stop in Gilman, Illinois, about halfway between Kankakee and Champaign, about 20 miles from the Indiana border.”

“The difference between gasoline prices in Illinois and the bordering states is significant: 60 cents to 70 cents a gallon higher in Illinois. Many communities of the state are within miles of a border. So, if you’re close to the border, why would you buy gasoline in Illinois?”

“It’s worse than that because when people buy gasoline, they often buy other things. So, Illinois is losing a ton of sales taxes. Why else would the Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlet just over the Wisconsin border be so successful? The operators realized people could not only save money on gasoline, but also on clothes and everything else. People can avoid all sorts of Illinois taxes. When the price differential on the gasoline tax is huge, it doesn’t matter if people must cross the border to get gas. They might as well save taxes on other items too.”

“Illinois’ taxes on gas and diesel are bad, but the impact of the diesel tax is worse. Diesel is on the lower part of the refining process, so diesel fuel should be cheaper than gasoline. The problem with high diesel costs is that they embed themselves like a tapeworm into the entire economy.”

“If gas costs are high, people can drive less or maybe they don’t take that weekend trip. But when the diesel costs are as high as they are, the cost of shipping goes up, and that’s not going to come down easily, if ever.”

“When the cost of shipping goes up, so does the price of everything. Clothing, parts, food all go up. Everything is shipped so everything becomes that much more expensive. Rising diesel costs are like an inflationary cancer in our economic corporate body. So, anybody who says we’re experiencing just transitory inflation isn’t considering the long-term cost of these fuel taxes.”

“The purpose of most fuel taxes is supposed to be to maintain the roads, which has a logic to it. But if that were the truth, the Illinois Tollway Authority would no longer exist because the authority and the tolls were supposed to cease to exist once the roads were paid off. Well, they paid them off decades ago. Once government leaders get the tax money, they want to keep the money coming.”

“As a gas station and truck stop owner, we make money on inside store sales and if we’re lucky, 3 cents per gallon for selling gasoline. We can make a lot of money on some items but that’s supposed to make up for the periods when we are selling gasoline below cost and are losing money.”

“When gas prices and taxes are rising, the profit margins generally get squeezed. Nobody wants to charge more. Everybody wants to be competitive. Everybody wants more business.

In a competitive market, owners may be losing a few pennies a gallon to win customers.”

“Lowering fuel costs helps the economy grow. When fuel costs go up, logistics become inefficient and hurt the economy, which is the last thing Illinois needs.”

“Here’s the point. If Illinois lawmakers lowered the fuel taxes, they would lower the cost of gasoline and diesel. That’s the quickest way to help hurting families in Illinois, business owners and the economy.”

Gary Meyers
Owner, Fred’s Fuel ‘n Food Truck Stop
Gilman, Illinois

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