Fuel Smarts

Illinois Suspends Fuel Tax

June 29, 2000

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Expect to see pump prices drop in Illinois in the next week. The state General Assembly has suspended the 5 percent sales tax on gasoline and diesel fuel for six months, effective Saturday, July 1.

The agreement was given the go ahead yesterday by lawmakers, including Gov. George Ryan. The deal resembles the proposal that Ryan made before calling a rare special legislative session Wednesday to address high gas prices.
Gas station operators will have two weeks to post a sticker on each pump announcing the cut. Those who don't post the stickers will face $500-a-day fines under the agreement.
The agreement will keep Illinois competitive with Indiana, which already has moved to temporarily cut its sales tax on fuel. The plan will cost $180 million and will be paid for by $75 million in unexpected revenues from the state’s economy and by possible 2 percent budget cutbacks.
Some people have expressed concern that gas stations won't pass along the savings to the consumer. Republicans dropped their idea to fine gas station operators and oil companies that did not pass on the savings because there were questions as to how that would be proved.
However, Fred Serpe, executive director of the Illinois Transportation Association, says his group is not concerned. "There are enough people monitoring this situation, ranging from truckers and consumers, to the media, that we believe everyone will see some immediate relief from these high fuel prices."

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