CHICAGO—Illinois taxpayers defeated the plan of downstate and Cook County Democrats to give the state of Illinois the highest gasoline tax in the country during the Illinois 100th General Assembly lame duck session.
The Democrat mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emmanuel, showing how out-of-touch he was with taxpayers, had called for a 30 cent-per-gallon increase on the state gasoline tax. In response, taxpayers protested inside the Illinois Capitol Building against this two billion dollar tax hike. The January 7 protest featured many prominent anti-gasoline-tax speakers, including St. Rep. Allen Skillicorn, St. Rep. Jeanne Ives, and Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America.
When the protesters went to confront their state representatives over this proposed gasoline tax increase, the tax raisers gaveled out and fled to caucus. They refused to leave their rooms until protesters and their signs were thrown out!
“It must have been two minutes,” commented Val, a concerned taxpayer who was waiting in line to speak to his state representative about the gas tax. “They were in session for two minutes and ran. It’s like they didn’t want to talk to us.”
Illinois lawmakers were so shaken by the outpouring of opposition they did not amend any bills to include a tax increase.
“I bet those tax-raising cowards have never seen so many taxpayers gathered together in one place before,” said Tobin. “It’s too bad we taxpayers need to work for a living. Otherwise we could protest and stop every tax increase in its tracks.”
When asked about the possibility of the new general assembly passing a gas tax increase, Tobin responded, “I think they will try to pass it again. But now Springfield Democrats and the newly elected Governor Pritzker will have to take responsibility for any tax increase. They own it now. They wanted to pass it in the 100th so they could blame Gov. Rauner, and not look like hypocrites when they throw poor and middle class taxpayers under the bus.”