Businesses react as Illinois gas tax hike goes into effect July 1

Illinois budget doubles gas tax, affects businesses

MARION, Ill. (KFVS) - Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the new Illinois budget into effect on June 5, including a multitude of new projects and taxes. One item includes doubling the state gas tax from 19 cents to 38 cents per gallon.

At it’s core, the new gas tax is meant to be a new item to fund a $45 billion infrastructure plan for the fiscal year. Meaning it will be used to build and repair new bridges, roads, and things like that.

It goes into effect on July 1.

This new policy has some Illinois drivers getting ready for summer travel reeling, and certain types of businesses wondering how it will affect their bottom line.

At PMR Towing and Service in Marion, Manager Nicole Firebaugh says this new tax comes at a bad time with an increase in summer travel. Particularly for their location near the heavily traveled I-57 and many local state highways.

“It does not make me feel good at all,” she said, “I’d rather be spending that money helping people out, helping our employees, you know, keeping our costs as low as we can.”

Firebaugh says, on a weekly basis, they use between 250 and 500 gallons of gas between two tow trucks, a service truck, and a run-around car. She estimates this new tax will cost them an extra $2,500 a year.

“I hate to say it but the biggest impact will probably be in costs,” she said, “we may have to look into increasing. Ideally we’re gonna do our best to not do that if we can.”

So for a small family owned business like PMR, Firebaugh thinks the costs outweigh the benefits with this new tax.

“Despite what people may think, we do want to help people,” she said, “we want to employ people, but the more taxes we get the harder it is on us.”

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