Chicago Mayor Lightfoot to announce gas relief proposal Monday

With gas prices on the rise, drivers across Chicagoland are pinching pennies at the pump.

In Illinois, drivers pay an average of 70 cents per gallon in fuel taxes. Cook County averages closer to $1 a gallon. Now, many are pushing for a break.

Some states are already addressing rising gasoline costs, like Connecticut, where Gov. Ned Lamont on Thursday signed emergency legislation that would suspend its gas tax until the end of June.

Here at home, some are calling for the same.

"Right now, the gas prices are so high and everything is high with inflation and all," said Lynda Kamper.

At nearly 50 gas stations across the city and suburbs, lines stretched for blocks on Thursday morning.

"Stressful, stressful, just to fill up my tank is $60. Before it was $30," said one customer.

Thousands of drivers were eager to cash in on free fuel during Willie Wilson’s $1 million dollar gas giveaway.

"If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be able to go to work for two or three days," said another customer.


But could there be relief on the horizon?

Chicago's Committee on Finance posted an agenda for Monday’s meeting that includes an unspecified proposal related to Chicago’s gas tax.

"We’ve got to do our part as a city to provide some relief for the people that are struggling. Not everybody can take the CTA," said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Adam Schuster with the Illinois Policy Institute said the city's gas tax of .08 cents is just one tax drivers pay on every gallon.

"They pay the 39.2 cents state motor fuel tax, there’s the Chicago motor fuel tax of 8 cents, the Cook County motor fuel tax of 6 cents, there’s an underground storage and environmental fee of about 1.1 cents," said Schuster, the Illinois Policy Institute’s senior director of budget and tax research. "And on top of all of that, you also have sales taxes."

Schuster says repealing or pausing any of those fuel taxes would be a major help to the public.

"You have to think not only per fill-up, but over the course of a year how much you drive, and this would be especially beneficial to people commuting in and out of the city," said Schuster.

Gas taxes in Illinois add up to be the second highest in the nation, next to California.

The Illinois Policy Institute has a web feature that allows you to calculate fuel taxes where you live.