Petroleum Marketers: Raising taxes on gas and cigarettes will hurt businesses across Illinois
New taxes will be disastrous for gas stations and convenience stores, particularly along border
As lawmakers prepare to head home for the summer, one of their final acts before leaving the Capitol includes potentially doubling the state’s motor fuel tax and raising the state’s cigarette excise tax by an additional $1 per pack. These taxes would hit consumers in the wallet and have devastating effects on gas stations and convenience stores across the state.
“Raising taxes on both gas and cigarettes at the same time is an enormous hit for consumers and will prove disastrous for businesses across Illinois, particularly those along our borders,” said Bill Fleischli, executive vice president, Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association-Illinois Alliance of C-Stores. “Over the past five years, Illinois has lost 700 gas stations and has seen a reduction of 9,000 employees in the industry. These increases will only result more in stores having to close, fewer employment opportunities, and less revenue for the state as a whole.”
History shows increasing these taxes does not result in reliable revenue for the state. The last time the motor fuel tax was increased, store owners, as well as state and local governments lost 8 to 10 percent in revenue. Further, cigarette sales in Illinois have declined an average of 5.1 percent a year over the past 10 years, resulting in fewer tax dollars for the state.
Further, these tax hikes will result in more customers crossing the border into neighboring states to purchase not just gas and tobacco products, but other items such as groceries, beverages and candy. As a result, retailers, convenience store owners and gas stations will lose out on even more business, making it more difficult to contribute to their local communities.
About the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association-Illinois Alliance of C-Stores
The IPMA-IACS is a non-profit organization representing more than 71,000 employees across the state which has been in existence since 1921, fostering a cooperative spirit between petroleum marketers and convenience store operators doing business in Illinois.