Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Champaign) recently clarified what he believed delaying a gas tax increase truly meant. Caulkins pointed out in a Facebook post that there are impacts of delaying the automatic gas tax increase that Democrats in the General Assembly are not discussing.
Caulkins in March blamed Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D-Ill.) for high gas prices and the perception that farmers are paying double for their fuel.
"Pritzker's gasoline tax hikes doubled the state's gasoline tax in 2019 to 38 cents from 19 cents per gallon, including automatic annual hikes," Caulkins said on Facebook last week. "The election-year package of tax relief includes a 6-month delay in the automatic hike, but that means there will be two hikes in 2023."
Caulkins said he did not believe temporary measures were important when the government has already collected so much in taxes.
"Gas has been over $4 a gallon for almost a year, and the state of Illinois has collected a huge windfall – almost $500 million," Caulkins said in a video on Facebook. "Don't be fooled by these election-year tax feeds. We have a better plan."
Other officials joined in on these criticisms of Pritzker.
"If the last two years haven’t been hard enough with COVID-19 mandates, now residents are having to foot the bill for our government’s failures," Illinois gubernatorial candidate and state Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Clark) said on his website. “It is time we put a stop to this madness and lower our state’s taxes to provide the meaningful relief that all hard-working Illinoisans deserve.”
In a weekly legislative update, Caulkins claimed that Pritzker owes Illinois residents a major cut to their gas taxes and said that the cut should be permanent, according to McLean County Times.