* Looks like the governor got lucky with his timing. The Motor Fuel Tax will increase by 19 cents a gallon on Monday…
Lower gas prices are contributing to record travel. With today’s national average of $2.61, gas prices are 23 cents lower than last summer. AAA does not expect the increased gas tax in Illinois, set to take effect on July 1, to have an impact on holiday travel volumes.
“Gas prices are, on average, 20 cents cheaper than Memorial Day weekend,” said Nick Jarmusz with AAA. “More so, summer gas prices are poised to continue dropping even lower in the coming weeks.”
* But, as is usual with these things, person in the street interviews abound right now on TV stations everywhere. WSIL…
Lucy Rushing manages the 4-Way Quik Shop in DeSoto.
She said this tax increase is going to make it hard to keep their gas prices competitive.
“I have people who will literally stand up here (the counter) and count pennies to pay for gas, so it’s going got impact everybody,” Rushing said.
Pritzker expects this increase to generate around $1.2 billion in revenue, but Rushing is worried about her bottom line.
“People who get gas are more likely to come into the store and buy other things,” Rushing said. […]
Rushing said tobacco is one of their best sellers.
Loss of tobacco sales is probably not a great argument, but I get where she’s coming from.
Some people who say they are furious that lawmakers are once again imposing more taxes that they say they just can’t afford.
“They are just taxing the people of Illinois to death,” says Illinois resident Sandra Higgins. […]
“I don’t like it, I don’t like any of the tax increases that our state is doing, ” says Kate Ackerman. […]
“The gas tax sounds like a money making business but I don’t think it will help the families in Illinois. They’re already taxed to the max,” says Amanda McCoy.
* ABC 7…
Residents said they will have to change their daily routine just to stay ahead, especially rideshare drivers that have to fill up daily for their jobs.
“It’s going to hurt, you’re looking at an extra 100 dollars a month basically if you round it out,” said rideshare driver Mahalia Evans.
“My profits are going to end up slashed, so, the way I’m gonna combat it is just like I said, head out to Indiana where it’s a lot more reasonable and more workable. I’m just going to do that,” said rideshare driver Patrick Vital.
* Back to WSIL TV…
A group created on Facebook plans to boycott the tax.
Members of the Facebook group are planning to travel into Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky or Wisconsin to fill up their tanks.
The leader of the boycott said she and other drivers are putting their foot down on the gas tax.
Lori Fuller is one of two sisters from the Metro East who started the Facebook page.
“You know, you can’t pour gas into the harbor, so we decided a boycott would be in order,” Fuller said.
The group only has about 1400 members.
Illinois residents routinely cross borders for cheaper gas and cigarettes already, [Bill Fleischli, executive vice president of the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association] said. In May, the Illinois Department of Transportation closed the Bayview Bridge over the Mississippi River near Quincy due to flooding.
“Sales volumes on the Illinois side went up 100% while the bridge was closed, then went back down when the bridge reopened,” he said. “There is evidence all over the state” of consumers near the border seeking better deals in neighboring states, Fleischli said.
* But it’s not all negativity. Pantagraph editorial…
How often do we as a group of citizens complain about nothing being accomplished at upper governmental levels? Here, finally, is an example of a problem being identified and a solution presented.
We can’t spend our time yelling “do something about these issues” and then when a solution is found, yell “wait, not that.” Likewise, we can’t avoid doing something because of previous discretions from previous promises.
* Ray LaHood…
One, raising the gas tax 19 cents a gallon will provide the needed money to fix our infrastructure, including roads and bridges. Without these resources we would not have the needed money.
Two, the bill also provides millions of dollars to fix our deteriorating facilities around Central Illinois and the State of Illinois. This will include facilities at Illinois Central College, Bradley University, some Peoria Public Schools facilities to name a few.
Third, the incredible number of jobs for engineers, architects, building contractors, road contractors and building trades workers will be substantial for many, many years.
Fourth, the economic development opportunities for our communities all across Illinois through the rehabilitation of roads, bridges and facilities will increase economic development and growth, new businesses and new jobs.
* Peoria Journal Star…
The gas tax increase and $45 billion infrastructure plan drew bipartisan support in both houses, including from Republican state Rep. Margo McDermed of Mokena.
“The capital plan does contain additional sources of revenue, but it is necessary long-term sustainable funding that will help us avoid the peaks and valleys of intermittent funding, which leads to starts and stops on projects our communities are counting on,” McDermed said in a news release. “Further, people who drive on our roads every day are paying for it, they just don’t realize it.”
* Pritzker signs capital, gaming bills, touts capital plan benefits during stop in metro-east
* Moran: After Springfield gives a green light, Lake County looking at local gas tax for transportation improvements