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Bailey wants special session on state gas tax “today”

Wednesday, Jun 8, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Sen. Darren Bailey held a press conference today at a gas station

What we need is a permanent reduction in taxes. We should permanently roll back the JB Pritzker / Avery Bourne gas tax. But if we can’t do this, we should at a minimum eliminate the sales tax on motor fuel. Friends, here in Illinois, we tax tax. That’s wrong. It’s an insane way of doing business. And even if gas prices were lower as a matter of principle, we should not place a tax on a tax. The sales tax on motor fuel is even more infuriating now that gas prices are soaring. Instead of finding meaningful solutions to this problem, JB Pritzker chose campaign year theatrics over genuine relief. JB’s plan to suspend the expected gas tax increase on July 1 is temporary and it is an absolute insult to working families. To combat inflation, we must reduce state spending and lower taxes. I proposed to start this process through a zero-based budget because Illinois families deserve real meaningful and permanent solutions to the crushing inflation, high taxes and rising gas prices.

I call on the House and the Senate leaders to bring the lawmakers back to Springfield to address the record high gas price in Illinois immediately. Today. I’m ready to go back to work so that Illinoisans can afford to go to work.

Please pardon any transcription errors.

Sen. Bailey also said “I have tried to reach out to Speaker Welch and to no avail.” Welch’s spokesperson said she checked with Speaker Welch and his staff and all said they hadn’t heard from Bailey.

Anyway, I’ve asked the four leaders and the governor’s office for comment. I’ll let you know what they say. In the meantime, what’s your reaction?

…Adding… Jaclyn Driscoll…

The Office of the Speaker doesn’t comment on Republican primary fodder. But as Senator Bailey knows, we’ve taken steps to freeze the gas tax and continue to explore additional options for relief for families dealing with the effects of global instability.

…Adding… House GOP Leader Jim Durkin…

This spring my caucus introduced several measures that would have provided relief from inflation and lowered gas prices for Illinois families - the Democrats refused to call them for a vote. If the speaker calls us back in session, we will be there.

…Adding… Ellie Leonard with the SGOPs…

Leader McConchie and the Senate Republican Caucus introduced and supported a measure during the spring session that would cap the sales tax on gas, preventing the state from receiving a windfall of cash and taking advantage of consumers in a time of crisis. That proposal, offering about $1 billion in relief, was ignored and instead, Democrats and the Governor are delaying the automatic two cent Motor Fuel Tax increase to trick Illinoisans ahead of the election that they are providing “relief.” Senate Republicans were ready four months ago to provide real relief to consumers and would return to Springfield in a heartbeat to do the same.

…Adding… Jordan Abudayyeh at Gov. Pritzker’s office…

As the nation grapples with high gas prices, providing meaningful relief to working families remains the Governor’s top priority. That’s why the Governor worked to enact Illinois Family Relief Plan, which suspends the gas tax increase, the grocery tax, and doubles property tax relief.


    • The gas tax funds road improvements, which were ignored for more than a decade resulting in poor road conditions that cost consumers hundreds of dollars a year in repairs. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of jobs are supported through this work.
    • With regard to the Illinois Family Relief Plan, 97 percent of Illinois tax filers will receive hundreds of dollars in property tax and income tax rebates in 2022 because of the $1 billion in tax relief Governor Pritzker signed into law in April as part of the FY23 balanced budget.
    • Consumers will see relief from:
    o A one year grocery tax suspension – saving consumers $400 million
    o Six month motor fuel tax freeze – saving consumers $70 million
    o A one-time, $520 million property tax rebate – 5% of property taxes paid, up to $300 per household
    o Permanent expansion of the earned income tax credit from 18 to 20 percent of the federal credit while expanding the number of households covered – putting $100 million per year back into the pockets of working families who need it most.
    o Direct rebate checks to working families
    * $50 per individual
    * $100 per dependent, up to three children per family

…Adding… John Patterson with the SDems…

The outrageous price gouging perpetrated on the motoring public needs to end. Nothing in Illinois caused prices of $5 or more a gallon. Washington needs to act. While we examine what else could be done here, I hope the senator and his allies will join the millions of Americans across this great country in calling on Washington to stand up to foreign oil interests, get to work and finally do something to address this national gas price problem.


  1. - fs - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 11:40 am:

    Given that Bailey has been pretty much a no-show, do-nothing Representative and Senator when it comes to writing and passing legislation, it’s not surprising the Speakers office hasn’t heard from him. Maybe by “I have tried to reach out” he meant he tried to look for a phone number or email but was unsuccessful.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 11:41 am:

    === To combat inflation, we must reduce state spending and lower taxes. I proposed to start this process through a zero-based budget because Illinois families deserve real meaningful and permanent solutions to the crushing inflation, high taxes and rising gas prices.===

    So Bailey is proposing all this for next fiscal year, starting June 2023?

    There’s a budget, signed and in effect come July.

    One state Senator calling for the re-litigation of a passed budget, already set for July, is wasting “my” time, his time, the state’s time, and will have no effect on “today”

  3. - NotRich - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 11:41 am:

    Is it 6/29 yet???

  4. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 11:44 am:

    - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 11:41 am:

    That’s too much ’splaining for a GOP primary voter looking at $6 gas in the ‘burbs.

  5. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 11:44 am:

    And the Nobel Prize for Populist Economics goes to…Senator Darren Bailey, for his whacky idea that there is something Illinois can do that would have any impact on global inflation.

  6. - King Louis XVI - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 11:46 am:

    The the tired “bring the lawmakers back to Springfield” chant usually comes from the clowns w/ no plan of what to actually do in Springfield.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 11:47 am:

    === That’s too much ’splaining for a GOP primary voter looking at $6 gas in the ‘burbs.===

    I was tasked to my reaction.

    How any other campaign decides to go after Bailey on this, that’s on them.

  8. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 11:50 am:

    Darren Bailey wants to do something useful and productive in Springfield?

    Why start now?

  9. - Tony DeKalb - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 11:51 am:

    I’m trying to do the math on how much a decrease of the gas tax would actually impact a person’s bill at the pump vs how much revenue the state would lose.

  10. - Mamacita - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 11:52 am:

    If anyone should know theatrics when they see them, it’s Bailey. He’s an expert /s

  11. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 11:58 am:

    Yeah, like a few pennies is really going to make a difference. Showboating.

  12. - Blake - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 12:01 pm:

    It’s attention seeking we frequently see from politicians, but I understand the signaling he’s trying to make. Better would’ve been adopting the proposed 18 cent per gallon cap on the general sales tax on gasoline.

  13. - New Day - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 12:01 pm:

    Gas prices are driven first and foremost by the global price of energy. Then by local factors such as proximity and effectiveness of refining operations. Then regional blends. And finally taxes. Not that those facts matter.

    I was also struck by his desire to repeal the road fund increase which most benefits…his district and other downstate districts.

  14. - Pundent - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 12:03 pm:

    As a pure political move with a primary 3 weeks away this is one of the smarter moves we’ve seen from Bailey. Obviously it’s completely without merit and detached from reality, but that hardly matters. It’s going to resonate with a lot of Republican primary voters.

  15. - Alice Childress - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 12:05 pm:

    I’m just amazed by those who think JB and Biden are directly responsible for gas prices. DO THE RESEARCH. OPEC has cut production (until a very small increase lately) and them and the major gas companies are recovering their loses from during the pandemic when demand was LOW cause no one could barely travel like we are today. Wanna get mad at someone? Try Putin, the Arab oil cartel and the oil companies for what’s happening now. That “open the pipeline” argument is getting old. It would barely, if at all, move the dial (except for the companies PROFITING off of it).

  16. - Lurker - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 12:07 pm:

    Bailey is right that we are taxing taxes. And as a CFO at two Agencies, I am a proponent of zero-based budgeting. But that being said, I don’t think Bailey has any clue what that actually means and I’ll add budgeting like that would be very difficult, especially with a strong union fighting the the reallocation of resources and personnel.

  17. - Huh? - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 12:34 pm:

    47th - shouldn’t it be the “Ignobel Prize for Populist Economics” awarded to beetle?

    The idea that Pritzker, Biden, or anyone else can do anything about high gas prices is laughable. They have no control over the commodities markets where the futures prices are set. They have no control over the spot market prices, which is where the dad to day prices are set.

  18. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 12:40 pm:

    =JB Pritzker chose campaign year theatrics over genuine relief=

    Says the guy shooting paper with an AR 15.

    =I proposed to start this process through a zero-based budget because Illinois families deserve real meaningful and permanent solutions to the crushing inflation, high taxes and rising gas prices.=

    Zero-based-budgeting does not address any of the three things he mentioned. It has no impact on inflation, high taxes, or gas prices. Anyone who thinks that it does is simply to dumb to walk and chew gum.

    In fact, zero-based-budgeting could lead to more state spending. I mean if you were actually creating and honest budget that way. It does not automatically lead to cuts spending. Not by a long shot. And, at the state level it is impossible to do because of required expenditures like pensions and health insurance as well as federal matching.

    Talk about grandstanding. What a doofus.

  19. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 12:44 pm:

    Zero-Based Budgeting, like Forensic Auditing, is a “fraud” … .

    Complete accurate costs are never available. For example, in buildings where the rent is paid by different appropriations / agencies, utility costs are totaled up and divided by square footage. The appropriation / agency with field staff is deemed to have used the same amount of utilities as the appropriation / agency with office based staff. Hardly accurate.

    Much of the cost data available is so difficult to obtain the cost to get it is greater that the cost data being obtained. Hardly cost effective.

    Except for large agencies, many state employees perform more than one task. Are we going to treat them like $1 / minute professionals, having them prepare timesheets to the minute? Who do we charge the restroom breaks to?

    There are many other examples, but that would turn this into Ph.D. thesis length.

  20. - The Doc - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 12:54 pm:

    I realize that lower taxes always everywhere is the elixir for everything in the OP, but I’m interested in hearing from Senator Bailey how doing such will eliminate the scourge of rampant inflation.

  21. - Baloneymous - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 12:56 pm:

    Most people I know do nothing but complain whenever gas prices go up and take no time to understand why that is and just blame the governor or president.

    That being said, Bailey is playing right into those feelings of anger and anxiety right before an election. People want to be heard when they complain and moan and he just held a press conference where that’s basically all he did, complain and moan. Nothing is going to come of it but people that actually saw/heard/read today’s sound bites will feel they have a voice.

  22. - Dave - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 1:15 pm:

    Gasoline/Diesel taxes by State - Illinois is 5th highest

  23. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 1:19 pm:

    I don’t believe for a minute that even if the tax rates were reduced that the price of gas would come down by a commensurate amount.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 1:22 pm:

    - Dave -

    Your beef is with business and labor groups.

  25. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 2:19 pm:

    Maybe the good senator from Xenia could get in his whirlybird and go scout out some lower gas prices. It’s not like gas is selling for $2.50 in Indiana.

  26. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 2:20 pm:

    It’s campaign grandstanding, but let us not forget the legislature voted to stop a coming tax gas increase and require stickers on gas pumps to say they held back on a tax increase that had not taken effect yet.

    Plenty of grandstanding has already happened.

    I also think of an SNL bit, where a financial expert comes on and just yells Fix It. That is where we are getting to on Gas prices and you start explaining OPEC and markets and whatever folks are going to just say ‘Fix it’

  27. - Ryan - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 2:56 pm:

    So, now Mr. Anti-government wants the government to step in and do something? Got it.

  28. - It's all Good - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 2:58 pm:

    So, at $6.00 a gallon, which gas will be in Illinois before very long. Illinois voters will be paying 56 cents federal tax, 39 cents state tax, plus another 38 cents Illinois sales tax(of which we are double taxed on the federal and state fuel taxes), for a total of $1.33 or give or take paying 22% tax on a gallon of gas.
    But wait, the Democratic super majority leaders of Pritzker, Welch, and Harmon are going to give us 2 cents relief. To make it better they require gas stations to put a sticker on the pumps alerting you to ALL they are doing to help you. Not a word about the fuel sales tax windfall they will be collecting

    Hoping tax payers give them the rewards they are due in the November election

  29. - Pundent - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 3:03 pm:

    Where do consent decrees and matching federal dollars fit into “zero based budgeting?” Or do we simply pretend those don’t exist?

    I’d hate for Bailey to get elected and have him confront the same reality that caught Rauner by surprise.

  30. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 3:07 pm:

    - It’s all Good -

    Maybe your beef is with the biz community and labor, they don’t want any tax freezes.

    Should “tax payers” be angry at them for not wanting the relief given?

  31. - MoralMinority - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 3:14 pm:

    Funny how so many people like to whine and complain about the high price of gas, yet I see about the same amount of traffic on the roads when I’m headed to work than last year. And it is especially the ones driving the 4WD pickups with oversized tires that belch out the black smoke as they pass me going 70 mph on a two-lane that complain the loudest and blame Pritzker and Biden.

  32. - Southern Illinois Infrastructure - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 3:58 pm:

    I get the pain a lot of people feel with gas, but are people really willing to take cuts to money where rebuilding current infrastructure comes from? The roads here downstate are finally getting rebuilt to where they are better, at least. Maybe not where we all want, but all the years of deferred infrastructure are finally being dealt with. If you are willing to take a hit to infrastructure, explain why. If you’re proposing an alternative tax system, let us know what it is and who gets hit.

  33. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 4:59 pm:

    And here I thought it was waste, fraud and abuse that was the cause of our woes. Little did I know it was motor fuel taxes.

  34. - Jibba - Wednesday, Jun 8, 22 @ 9:06 pm:

    My mechanic complained the other day about gas prices and the Dems, and how expensive was his 100 mile RT daily commute in his pickup. He seemed completely unaware that his personal choices might be influencing his costs.

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