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Look a Little Closer to Determine The Price of Gasoline in Illinois

Mary Laney 18 April 2011 3 Comments

If filling up your gas tank is becoming a shocking experience, you are not alone. People are now lining up at any filling station where the price per gallon is under $4.50.

Some people are blaming the gas stations. Others are blaming the big oil companies. I blame the lack of transparency, and here’s why.

If you go into a restaurant today, the menu lists how many calories are in each meal. If you shop in a grocery store, each item is now marked with the amount of fat and what kind of fat it contains. A butcher shop lets you know just how lean the meat is that you’re buying. And when you check out of any store, the sales slip lets you know the exact amount of taxes your are being charged.

Phone companies list the various taxes and fees added to your monthly bill. Water bills contain the taxes and fees added on to your usage. Electrical bills contain all the extra fees you’re being charged. It’s all very transparent.

But the same transparency is totally absent when you go to buy gasoline for your car, or when trucks buy diesel to carry the goods to market. All that is posted at filling stations is the price per gallon for the various grades of gasoline and diesel.

Curious, isn’t it?

Do you find it strange how much cheaper gasoline is in Indiana as compared with Illinois.? Have you thought it unusual that gasoline and diesel is less costly in Wisconsin than in Illinois?

The answer lies in the lack of transparency. That is something I’d like to see one of our elected officials change in Washington. It’s time for everyone to see what’s the real cost of buying fuel for our cars, motorcycles and trucks. It’s time for a law to order all gas stations to post the following: the price per gallon of gasoline, then the city tax per gallon, next, the county tax per gallon, then, the state tax added per gallon and finally, the federal tax added per gallon. Now that is true transparency. That is something that would let everyone know exactly why the cost of fuel is soaring so high here.

If the government can rule on just what foods and drink are allowed in our schools, and can order restaurants to list the amount of calories in each meal, and can order manufacturers to list the nutrition facts on every can of food, it can certainly pass legislation to order all gas stations to list the amount of taxes motorists are being asked to pay by the city, county, state and federal governments on each gallon they buy.

If filling up your gas tank is more and more becoming a shocking experience, seeing how much in taxes you’re paying should be a real eye opener. It might even make you pay more attention to just what the government is doing to you rather than for you.

It’s time for some real transparency – not more hot air — regarding the true price of a gallon of gas, and then the piling on of multiple levels of taxation to that gallon.

Wouldn’t you like to see that?

Mary Laney is a regular columnist for the Chicago Daily Observer

image Becker’s Texaco, Dwight, Illinois


  • Dan Kelley said:

    I dislike the fact that the State of Illinois subjects gasoline purchasers to two taxes on every purchase: there is a tax of 19 cents per gallon and the entire purchase price is also subject to the general sales tax, the amount of the sales tax can vary depending upon the county and locality where the purchase is made (the range is from 6.25% to 9.25%). So as the retail price of each gallon increases at the pump, the State of Illinois profits from consumer misery with higher sales tax receipts

  • Mike Buck said:

    Yes, I’d love to see a breakout of the tax component of gas purchases posted at all gas stations. With the current crew in control in Springfield it’s not likely that we’ll see that happen any time soon….Quinn’s compassion for “everyday people” extends only to certain select groups of “everyday people” and the driving public, being a cash cow for the State, is not one of those select groups. The pail always gets better treatment than the tit. However, I love the picture of Becker’s Texaco, one of Route 66’s roadside diamonds, and a great subject for “O” and “HO” scale model railroaders who have the patience to scratch-build.

  • Herb Dulzo said:

    Dan there are actually 3 taxes applied by Illinois. There in another 3% for underground tank clean-up. Not sure why the gas stations don’t pay that one??

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