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All Different Taxes Jack Up Gas Prices Even More

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How much of this high Chicago gas price is attributable to taxes? The answer may surprise you. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago has some of the highest gas prices in the nation, and it’s no surprise – not with all we’re paying at the pump.

As CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman reports, the sources of the taxes aren’t readily obvious. Some are passed down to consumers via corporate taxes, but others are rolled right in, or right on top of what you pay.

In the South Loop Tuesday, motorists were paying $3.99 per gallon to fill up. Some said it was “ridiculous.” Others said it “hurts.”

But how much of the hurt in that price comes from the government?

CBS 2 asked two agencies. Jim Tobin, president of National Taxpayers United of Illinois, crunched the numbers on camera.

“We have a federal tax of 18 cents a gallon,” he said. “The state gas tax is 19 cents a gallon.”

In addition, there is an environmental tax of about 1 cent, and per gallon, the City of Chicago gets 5 cents and the County of Cook 6 cents.

In total, that adds up to about 50 cents per gallon in fixed taxes every time you get gas.

“I wasn’t aware of that,” one driver said. “It doesn’t make me feel good.”

Another motorist, Shana Lane, buys 16 gallons of gas a week. That amounts to about $32 in taxes a month, which she said she would rather be saving.

“You could find anything to do with it versus putting it in your gas tank, seriously,” Lane said.

Another motorist said a cap on taxes is in order.

CBS 2 asked about any kind of tax rollback in the wake of skyrocketing oil prices. There weren’t too many straight answers to be found.

The city sent us from one office to the next. The county said it’s monitoring the situation. The office of

Gov. Pat office put it on the Illinois General Assembly, saying Quinn would review anything legislators passed if it came to his desk.

“It definitely sounds like passing the buck,” a driver said.

And by the by, we’re not even don e with the taxes. In addition to everything we broke down earlier, when you fuel up, there is also a sales tax in Illinois and Chicago.

“My biggest gripe is the 6 percent sales tax on gasoline,” Tobin said. “You’re taxed on the tax.”

Chicago and Illinois both have sales taxes, both of which add dollars onto the final price you pay.

If you’re wondering where the billions in revenue goes, those fixed taxes fund road and bridge work, but the sales taxes go into general funds. Tobin said that means pensions and the like.

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