Wednesday, 22 June 2022 11:51

Gas Station Association Prepared to Add ‘Truth’ to Illinois-Mandated Gas Tax Sticker

Written by Greg Bishop, The Center Square


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Part of the Illinois state budget that begins July 1 includes a delay in the annual motor fuel tax increase.

An association is ready to add to a state-mandated sign announcing the delay to give it more context it says taxpayers need to know.


In April, state lawmakers approved the state budget that begins in July. The budget includes various rebates for income taxes and property owners, as well as a 12-month reduction of the grocery tax from 1% to 0%. There’s also a six-month delay in the annual state motor fuel tax increase scheduled to go into effect July 1, estimated at about 2 cents a gallon.


The law requires both grocery stores and gas stations to post certain signage announcing state lawmakers approved the tax changes. While there is no fine for grocery stores that don’t post signs, there is a fine for gas stations.


“I think people that are pumping gas, and are looking at the price, their gaze will fix upon the pump and maybe they’ll read about the good things that we did,” state Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-Riverside, said in April.


But critics say the forced gas pump sign is a violation of First Amendment free speech rights.


The Illinois Fuel and Retail Association sued over the requirement, saying the sign requirement is forced political speech. The case has been moved from state court to federal court and is expected to be heard June 24.


If Illinois gas stations are forced by the courts to put a sign on their pumps announcing a delay in the looming 2-cent a gallon state gas tax increase, IFRA said it is ready to set the record straight.


“Several Illinois politicians have sort of made the argument that delaying a tax increase is somehow tantamount to a tax cut and that’s just not the case,” IFRA CEO Josh Sharp told The Center Square. “The gasoline tax in the state of Illinois is staying exactly the same on July 1 as it was the year before and now they’re going to raise it twice in 2023. They’re just putting off that tax increase until after an election.”


The state-required language for the gas pump sign says “As of July 1, 2022, the State of Illinois has suspended the inflation adjustment to the motor fuel tax through Dec. 31, 2022. The price on this pump should reflect the suspension of the tax increase.”


Sharp said if the courts require gas stations to post that, the IFRA will follow the law and the required size, but will...

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