Rep. Dan Caulkins argued Gov. J.B. Pritzker was at fault for Illinois’ gas prices.
“Gov. 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 in a Facebook post. “The election-year package of tax relief includes a six month delay in the automatic hike, but that means there will be two hikes in 2023.”
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported gas prices are determined by various factors.
In an April 19 Chalk Talk video posted to Facebook, Caulkins also discussed the delay of the gas tax increase and the temporary suspension of the grocery sales tax.
“Gov. Pritzker and the Democrats are going to be talking about all the tax relief that they're going to give you for a very short period of time, because of the elections in November and they're trying to buy our votes. So we went to the grocery store and you look at your grocery bill and it's a 1% sales tax on your groceries. Democrats are going to reduce that, take that away for a year. One percent on a $500 grocery bill which is about what a monthly grocery bill is — will be $5. Not a whole lot, but it’s something and we appreciate that, but the bigger news is here at the gas pump," Caulkins said. "Right now we have a 5% sales tax on our gasoline. When we did our budget we figured gas would be about $2 something, $3 a gallon. Well guess what? Gas has been over $4 a gallon for almost a year and the state of Illinois has collected a huge windfall — almost $500 million. The Republicans said ‘Look we’ve got $500 million of taxpayer money, let’s give it back let’s suspend the 5% sales tax for six months’ — that’s $0.15 to $0.20 a gallon, every gallon back in your pocket so don't be fooled by these election year tax feeds.”
The Illinois Revenue reported Illinoisans are paying $0.392 per gallon at the pump.
In March, Caulkins blamed Pritzker again for the high gas prices, and how farmers seem to be paying double for their fuel, the McLean County Times reported. In his weekly legislative update, Caulkins said that Pritzker owes Illinois residents a significant cut to the gas taxes and for the cut to be permanent. He linked to an article from Wirepoints, the same one where the graphic he used came from.
Illinois Policy wrote that the state has the nation’s second-highest gas taxes.
And Caulkins isn't the only Republican sounding the alarm. Gubernatorial candidate and Sen. Darren Bailey is also looking for ways to slow the rising prices of gas, according to SE Illinois News.
“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,” Bailey 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.”
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