Local drivers speak out against proposed state gas tax increase - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Local drivers speak out against proposed state gas tax increase

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WSIL -- Illinoisans could be paying up to 30 cents more per gallon at the pump if a proposal by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for planning is approved by state lawmakers. 

State Representative Allen Skillicorn (R- East Dundee) spoke out against the increase Monday, which would make Illinois' gas tax the highest in the country. "The people of Illinois are awake and they're tired of paying more money. And they're tired of paying more at the pump," Skillicorn says. 

Illinoisans already pay 37 cents per gallon in state gas taxes, the tenth highest in the nation. The cost does not include federal, county, or city gas taxes. If the state tax increase were to take effect, residents would pay about a dollar per gallon just in taxes. 

Business owner, Mike Ivy is against the proposal. Ivy is the co-owner of Quest Fitness Center in Marion and is working to open another location in West Frankfort. He calls the company pick-up truck his "office" spending so much time driving back and forth between the cities. 

"Four to five hours a day in my truck, so yeah I'm putting some miles on," Ivy explains. "We finally got gas prices where we can breath a little bit, why jack it back up?" 

Ivy says every penny he spends makes a difference, "It all adds up at the end of the day. People are on a fixed income, and it's going to affect them." 

Proponents say the funds would go toward fixing roads and infrastructure. Carterville resident Dylan Orr, however, believes those are false promises, "I still got potholes around my house that the city was supposed to been fixed a few times now, and they haven't even been touched."

Both Ivy and Orr believe lawmakers need to come up with another way to fix the roads besides raising taxes. Representative Skillicorn says Illinois should hold off on making any decisions on the gas tax, to see if the federal government passes an infrastructure plan first.

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