Illinois’ new gas tax will hit drivers hard this summer

Hand holding gasoline nozzle for car refueling at gas station

CHICAGO — Illinois gas taxes haven’t been touched in decades, but that’s about to change this summer.

WGN-TV reports that as part of Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s attempt to balance the state budget, Illinois’ gas tax will double from 19 cents to 38 cents per gallon beginning July 1. That makes the state one of the highest in the nation for taxes at the pump

“Illinois is going from one of the lower gas taxes in the region to one of the highest,” Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy.com founder, said.

Cities in Cook County also have the option to raise gas taxes by an additional 3 cents a gallon. Drivers will also see a $50 annual increase in vehicle registration fees for most vehicles starting in 2020.

“It doesn’t matter who it is, this is going to add up to several hundred dollars no matter what is parked in the garage at night,” DeHaan said.

Gas stations who continue to lobby for business on the state border will have a new edge. If drivers can get gas cheaper in Indiana, Missouri or Wisconsin, drivers are willing to drive there to fuel up.

“You’ll have highs in the summer and lows in the winter,” DeHaan said. “It’s just making that cheap $2 per gallon we saw this winter even less of a likelihood. We may be stuck with $3 per gallon a majority of the year.”

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