U.S. gas prices drop near $4 a gallon, but not in Illinois

U.S. gas prices drop near $4 a gallon, but not in Illinois

Gas prices were on the decline for the 50th straight day, but Illinois’ gas taxes kept the average price above $4.50 a gallon.

The national average price of gas is inching towards $4 per gallon, while Illinois still averages $4.56 per gallon.

National gas prices have been on the decline for 50 consecutive days. Even with falling prices, Illinois has the most expensive gas in the Midwest, according to AAA.

Gas prices can change from shifting supply and demand. In Illinois, gas taxes are a constant that keep prices higher than its neighbor states’ – 77 cents higher than Missouri.

Illinois has had the second-highest motor fuel taxes in the nation since Gov. J.B. Pritzker doubled them to 38 cents per gallon from 19 cents in 2019. Before Pritzker took office, Illinois’ gas taxes were the 10th highest in the nation.

He also added an automatic, inflationary adjustment so state lawmakers could duck responsibility for unpopular votes on gas tax hikes. That automatic annual hike now has the state gas tax at 39.2 cents per gallon, but it is expected to hit 44.3 cents a year from now.

Since the gas tax doubled, Illinoisans have paid an extra $3.5 billion in taxes alone, or $277 per person.

Pritzker’s solution to surging inflation and high gas prices is temporary relief that expires shortly after the election.

Instead of lowering the motor fuel tax, he thinks it’d be better to simply delay the annual gas tax hike. Because it’s delayed, Illinoisans can expect two gas tax hikes in 2023.

The same government union leaders who advocated for doubling the gas tax are pushing for a constitutional amendment on the Nov. 8 ballot. Amendment 1, a tax hike disguised as a “workers’ rights amendment,” would guarantee a $2,100 property tax hike by giving government union bosses the power to make nearly unlimited demands that taxpayers would be forced to fund.

Gas taxes and property taxes should not be so high that Illinoisans seek a better deal across state lines.

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