State Representative Caulkins Holds Press Conference Urging a 2 Year Gas Tax Freeze

SPRINGFIELD, IL… State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss halting the cost of living increase on motor fuel for two years. 

Since Fiscal Year 2019, the gas tax has more than doubled, increasing from $0.19 to $0.454, which it sits at currently. July 1, 2024, the beginning of FY 25, the gas tax is set to increase, further burdening Illinoisians. 

HB 5852 is a result of Governor Pritzker’s proposal of taking $175 million from the Road and Construction Fund to help balance the budget. Pritzker stated that road projects are funded so taking this money wouldn’t affect any proposed projects,” said Rep. Caulkins. “We, Republicans, are proposing allowing citizens to keep their hard-earned money if it isn’t needed for projects, to provide some relief.” 

After 2019 without needing legislative approval, the gas tax has increased annually with inflation, following the Consumer Price Index. This year’s increase is set at another 3.5% increase.

“We want to suspend the increase for two years,” said Rep. Caulkins. “Illinois has been aggressive in fixing roads and bridges, but the Road and Construction Fund has increased from $839 million in 2020 to an estimated almost $5 billion this year. Those $5 billion are tax dollars that have not been used, despite an aggressive road and bridge repair plan by IDOT. To prove we are good stewards in holding taxpayer dollars, we should allow them to keep more of their money instead of coughing it up at the pump.” 

HB 5852 was filed this week, but with adjournment scheduled for Friday, action on the bill is limited. To follow the bill, visit the ILGA website