Senators Syverson, Wilcox address skyrocketing gas prices

With gasoline prices at the pump topping well over $4 per gallon and expected to continue to climb with projections of over $5 per gallon, State Senators Dave Syverson (R-Cherry Valley) and Craig Wilcox (R-McHenry) say Illinois legislators must act immediately to provide relief to consumers.

A group of Senate Republicans joined industry stakeholders during a press conference at the Capitol on Thursday to call on the General Assembly and the Pritzker Administration to immediately cap the state’s sales tax on motor fuel at 18 cents per gallon, which is what consumers were paying last fall before prices started to climb dramatically.

“With gas prices continuing to skyrocket, we could easily see the average price of gas to be around five dollars per gallon. We would be providing relief at the pump now, and then preventing any future sales tax increase,” said Sen. Syverson. “We must pass emergency relief legislation before we leave this spring session. The government has no business capitalizing on a crisis that is hurting families across the state.”

Under the Senators’ proposal, Illinois consumers could expect to save nearly $1 billion over the next fiscal year, or 16 cents per gallon, assuming gas prices are at $5.50 per gallon. Additionally, the measure would continue to provide adequate funding for Illinois’ infrastructure projects.

“Consumers need relief right now, and this common-sense legislation provides tangible relief without negatively affecting the state’s anticipated revenues for the coming year,” said Sen. Wilcox. “If we do nothing, motorists will continue paying outrageous prices at the pump, and come July when the state sales tax is recalculated, taxes will soar to unbelievable levels. This money should remain with taxpayers who are already struggling to keep pace with record-level inflation.”

“Capping Illinois’ sky-high taxes on gasoline would be welcome relief for Illinois motorists and fuel retailers as inflation and geopolitical forces continue to wreak havoc on the economy,” said Josh Sharp, CEO of Illinois Fuel and Retail Association. “We thank Senators Syverson and DeWitte for sponsoring this legislation and offering real relief for Illinois motorists.”

Illinois is one of just seven states that charge a sales tax on top of the gas tax. While both the state and federal gas taxes are a flat tax, which means the tax does not change with price of fuel, Illinois also charges a sales tax on top of the motor fuel tax.

The legislation was filed as Senate Bill 4195.

Craig Wilcox

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