The decision to freeze the state’s gas tax has made democrats in Illinois so proud that they require gas stations to advertise the legislature’s ruling. Although the gas tax in Illinois is amongst the highest in the US, a bill was recently passed to freeze the fuel tax.
This decision to temporarily halt Illinois’ gas tax came as the legislature introduced a new state budget last Saturday, upon democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker’s request. The tax was already around 40 cents per gallon, according to the federal data. It was claimed that freezing the tax in the wake of rising inflation could save the state around $135 million.
Many critics believe this decision is a stunt for the upcoming elections, and drivers will only be able to save around 2.2 cents per gallon. They also highlighted that in 2019 Pritzker increased the gas tax by doubling it. It caused the prices to surge by over $1 per gallon in the previous year alone.
Still, the legislation of Illinois wants everyone to know about the new gas tax freeze. They made it mandatory for retailers and gas stations to post advertisements. These advertisements read that the state has suspended the inflation adjustment to the gas tax from July 1st, 2022, to December 31st, 2022, and the price at the retailer should reflect this decision.
Furthermore, the new budget also requires grocery stores and supermarkets to advertise that the state has frozen the 1% tax on groceries from July 1st, 2022, to July 1st, 2023. Along with the decision, there have been directions for the size and visibility of the advertisement.
When penalties up to $500 a day for non-compliance were added to the equation, the Illinois Fuel and Retail Association CEO Josh Sharp criticized the decision. He claimed that industries shouldn’t be used as free election year promotions and advertisements. He also added that it was unconstitutional to order businesses to reflect government-influenced speech by threatening them with fines.
In an interview with the Federalist, Republican Mark Batinick criticized the Democrats in Illinois by stating other states have cut down gas taxes entirely to help the drivers tackling the rising prices.