ILLINOIS – It’s common knowledge that gas in Illinois is more expensive than it is in Missouri.
On Thursday, that price difference is growing even more with the gas tax rising again in the land of Lincoln. It’s going up by a half-cent per gallon all across Illinois.
The Illinois gas tax will rise from 38.7 cents per gallon to 39.2 cents per gallon starting today. This is the third time in three years that the gas tax has jumped in Illinois.
AAA said travel is expected to increase 40 percent compared to last year on July 4, reaching the second-highest travel volume on record.
“It’s going to be a very busy weekend for people hitting the roads and the skies for the independence holiday,” Nick Chabarria said.
“This will actually be the highest number of drivers on record for the holiday coming up this weekend.”
As millions of Americans take to the nation’s roads and skies this Independence Day, despite the highest gas prices in seven years, more than 91 percent of holiday travel will be by car.
In July of last year in Illinois, the gas tax rose by seven-tenths of a cent per gallon. In 2019 the gas tax doubled from 19 cents to 38 cents per gallon.
Before the 2019 increase, the gas tax hadn’t increased since the 1990s.
The 2019 increase, which was signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker, tied the motor fuel tax to the consumer price index, meaning that the Illinois gas tax will continue to increase automatically with inflation.
Some Illinois motorists were in sticker shock at the gas pump on Thursday.
“How do you afford to put gas in your car every week and this truck here eats gas like crazy so this is insane,” Chris Thurston said.
Brandon Vaughn said the increase in gas prices is out of his control.
“I really can’t complain about the gas prices. I can’t control it,” he said. “It’s up to our elected officials.”
More than 47.7 million Americans will take to the nation’s roadways and skies this Independence Day, July 1–5, and travel volumes are expected to nearly fully recover to pre-pandemic levels.
In fact, this will be the second-highest Independence Day travel volume on record, trailing only 2019. Overall, just 2.5 percent fewer Americans are expected to travel this year compared to Independence Day in 2019.
This represents an increase of nearly 40 percent compared to last year, when total travel fell to 34.2 million.
Despite the highest gas prices in seven years, more than 91 percent of holiday travel will be by car. An expected 43.6 million Americans will drive to their destinations, the highest on record for this holiday and 5 percent more than the previous record set in 2019.
With 3.5 million people planning to fly, air travel volumes this Independence Day will reach 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels, and increase 164 percent compared to last year.
“Travel is in full swing this summer, as Americans eagerly pursue travel opportunities they’ve deferred for the last year-and-a-half,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel.