Trade Group Voices Concerns About Rising Taxes On Gas, Cigarettes

Mike Krauser
June 05, 2019 - 11:56 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The trade group representing gas stations and convenience stores in Illinois said some are going to end up closing over the increases in taxes on gas and cigarettes that go into effect on July 1. 

The gas tax doubles to 38-cents a gallon. The tax on diesel fuel more than doubles to 45.5-cents.

Bill Fleischli, executive vice president of the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association — Illinois Association of Convenience Store said members are screaming bloody murder. 

“They’re screaming at me. They’re screaming at everybody. This is devastating,” he said.

Fleischli said it comes at the same time as the first of three hikes in the minimum wage that will raise it by $2.75 an hour in the space of a year.

"My goodness, that is an incredible amount of money," he said. "Then your cigarettes are going to be $1 higher. And the driving force that brings people into your facility is gasoline. People can compare where they shop for gasoline."

They’re going to lose inside sales, he said, and the state is going to lose sales tax revenues as a result.

Fleischli said truckers are going to do all they can to avoid stopping in Illinois. 

The worst-hit gas stations and convenience stores and truck stops, he said, will be along the borders; so those in bordering states will come out on top.

He also predicts hundreds of what are essentially small businesses will struggle and close in the coming few years.