(The Center Square) – After an election cycle freeze on the state’s taxes for groceries and gasoline, the two taxes, among others, are set to increase beginning July 1.
Next month, the state’s gas tax will increase by 6.2 cents to a total tax of 45.4 cents, the second increase since Jan. 1. The state’s tax on groceries will also go back into effect after Gov. J.B. Pritzker put a hold on the tax during last year’s election cycle.
Bryce Hill of the Illinois Policy Institute said the gas tax has continued to increase since Pritzker has been in office.
“Previously, it used to be 19 cents in 2018,” Hill told The Center Square. “Beginning in July of 2019, he doubled that to 38 cents, and then he also indexed the gas tax to inflation, meaning that it automatically increases every year.”
Certain local municipalities can also set their tax on gas, which means some areas of the state will be paying even more on top of the already increased state tax.
“At the local level, on top of the gas tax, you have the ability for localities to tax gasoline, which many do,” Hill said.
According to AAA, Illinoisans pay an average of $3.90 for a gallon of gasoline. In Cook County, it’s $4.27. The average price of a gallon of gasoline is much cheaper in all of Illinois’ neighboring states. In Missouri, it’s $3.20. In Kentucky, it’s $3.34. In Iowa, it’s $3.38. In Wisconsin, it’s $3.48. In Ohio, it’s $3.42.
The state’s recently approved fiscal year 2024 budget includes other fee increases. Certificate of title, except for an all-terrain vehicle, off-highway motorcycle, or motor home, mini motor home or van camper will be $165, up from $155. The price of getting driving records will increase to $20 from $12. Another increase in the budget includes the fee the Secretary of State can charge “local governments, elected state officials, state education institutions, and all other governmental units of the State and Federal Government” for access to driving statistics. That fee is doubled from $250 to $500.
Higher fees hurt Illinois residents who are already facing some of the highest property taxes in the nation, according to Hill.
“Now what’s going to happen is you are going to feel the full effect of property taxes without any sort of offset with your income taxes, and nothing has been done at the state level to address the cost drivers of property taxes,” Hill said.
Illinois’ FY2024 budget cycle begins on July 1. However, lawmakers have yet to send the budget to Pritzker for his signature.