All Different Taxes Jack Up Gas Prices Even More

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.

  • Jim

    We have to pay these amazing politicians $200k+ pensions somehow. They make our state into what it is. Yes I am being sarcastic by the way.

  • Bob

    The real cost of gasoline includes the cost of the US Central Command (USCENTCOM) headquarted at MCDill Aif Force Base in Tampa, Florida. The operations of USCENTCOM keep the oil freely flowing from the Persian Gulf. Where do you pay for those operations at the pump? You do not. Way back in 1993, Paul Weyrich of the very conservative Free Congress Foundation, figured out that if the US military operations that kept the oil coming Worldwide were charged for at the pump we would have to add $6.00 to the tax. That was in 1993! How much tax should be charged at the pump for our military incursion into Iraq? How much are we spending to keep Libyan rebels protected? How much inflation has there been in the costs of providing the planes and ships USCENTCOM uses today in 2011? Is $6.00 enough tax today to pay for all of this? There is way too little tax charged today. Maybe with a realistic gasoline tax we could have a balanced federal budget. Or with out a Federal presence in the Persian Gulf we could have an emphasis on domestic and renewable fuels and we could all sleep better at night.

  • Brenda

    All these different taxes we pay are nonsence, as if we are’nt taxed enough other ways now we are working just to get to work, nonsence I say.

  • JIM


  • Bob

    Well, if only Obama would show some leadership. Remember that Paul Weyrich, a very conservative man, brought the issue up at Free Congress Foundation, a very conservative think tank. This is not liberal or progressive thinking. And yes, I can see drill rigs working from my house: I live in Mesa County, Colorado, and there are about 40 working drill rigs here and in the adjacent Garfield County, Colorado, and Grand County, Utah. The neo-con nonsense that the democrats have somehow banned domestic drilling is simply not true. Come on out and have a look out here in the High Desert of Western Colorado and Eastern Utah.

    • Roberta Waker

      Why not drill in the Dakotas and at the base of the Rocky Mountains? There’s enough crude there to supply gasoline for the United States for 1,000+ years. Yes, that’s ONE THOUSAND PLUS YEARS!!! We would no longer be dependent on other countries and could even sell oil to THEM. Taxes would go down and the price per gallon would be realistic. Hell, we might even be able to fly again with some benefits like free food, snacks, pillows, just like the good old days.

      • StupidPeopleFTW

        This, is so factually incorrect, it’s astounding.

  • Emily

    Sign up for pre-tax transit benefits through your employer and avoid rising gas prices:

    From the Trib:

  • tax payer

    let’s do what wisconsin people are doing.protest all taxes and tell all your senators and representatives to cut down their big fat salaries and pensions.

  • tax payer

    why,gas prices are going up.we don’t buy gases from libya.

  • Jim

    Most retired state employees receive modest pensions, unlike some politicians and school superintendants who receive very large pensions.

  • dylan

    We could have been independent from foreign oil if we didn’t let the oil companies squash the electric car back in the 90’s. That’s not Obama’s fault, that’s the fault of the oil companies and the american voter who voted, and still vote, for politicians that are in bed with the oil comps. Follow the money, Bush gave the oil comps billions in tax breaks and Obama cut the breaks off, so who do you think is in bed with who?

  • Tom Ball


  • All Different Taxes Jack Up Gas Prices Even More « CBS Chicago | U.S. Justice Talk

    […] southwerk posted about this interesting story. Here is a small section of the post6:00 PM, CBS 2 News at 6:00PM. 6:30 PM, Entertainment Tonight. 7:00 PM, Survivor: Redemption Island. 8:00 PM, Criminal Minds. 9:00 PM, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. 10:00 PM, CBS 2 News at 10:00PM … […]

  • Catherina Wojtowicz


    (Umm… Who said that? It appears a LOT of what that lady says has come true… Fascinating… )

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