Downstate Gas Station Owner Has Fears About Gas, Cigarette Tax Hike

Mike Krauser
June 06, 2019 - 1:40 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The owner of two dozen gas stations in and around downstate Quincy said he has some tough decisions to make with the tax increases and hikes in the minimum wage that he said will kill business.   

Carl Adams has been in business for 53 years.  He now has 23 gas station-convenience stores. 

“Well, I’m afraid this will put us out of business," he said. "The gas tax in Missouri - and we also border Iowa - the gasoline taxes are 20 and 30 cents below Illinois." 

He said the doubling of the gas tax to 38 cents-a-gallon "makes us 60 to 70 cents higher than Missouri.  Who will buy gasoline in Illinois with that kind of difference?” 

Cigarettes, he said, will be almost $3 cheaper across the river in Missouri.    

If people aren't stopping for gas, he said, or cigarettes, they're not going to stop in for anything else, especially when a short trip over a bridge will save them money. 

His company employs 265 people. 

"These people's lives are affected by this," he said.  “Some of our employees have been with us 25-30 years. They’re family to us. We just had a lady retire who put in 50 years with our company.” 

Profit margins are thin, he said. 

“In many cases credit card companies make more on a gallon of gas than we make.” 

And he said 75 to 80 percent of customers use cards, not cash. 

The trade group representing Illinois gas stations and convenience stores is predicting hundreds will close in the next few years, especially along the state's borders.  

Adams said he has some tough decisions to make.  

“We do and I think the public should have some tough decisions coming forward. The people that say they’re there to help us, they’re not helping us. They’re hurting us.” 

They being the politicians who voted for the increases.