New legislation has been filed by State Representative John M. Cabello, R-Machesney Park, to protect working families and taxpayers during periods of high unemployment by repealing the motor fuel tax increase approved by the General Assembly in June which doubled the state’s gas tax from 0.19 cents per gallon to 0.38 cents per gallon and increased the tax on diesel fuel from 0.215 cents per gallon to 0.455 cents per gallon. The legislation, House Bill 3937, was filed on October 28.
“It is an unfortunate reality that 21 new or increased taxes were approved in Springfield this year,” Representative Cabello said. “While there is no way we can ever get those who voted for the gas tax hike to repeal it, we should all come together to protect working families who already can’t afford it if and when a recession hits Illinois.”
Specifically, Cabello’s bill would fully repeal the motor fuel tax hike if the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Illinois exceeds 8% for a period of 3 consecutive calendar months. In that event, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) would be required to notify the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR), the agency responsible for adjusting the tax rate collected by retail merchants that sell motor fuel. Gas taxes would then revert to their pre-July 1,2019 rate of 0.19 cents per gallon and 0.215 cents per gallon for diesel fuel. Those lower rates would remain in effect until IDES notifies IDOR that the unemployment rate in Illinois has been 8% or less for a period of 3 consecutive calendar months.
The gas tax hike was approved by the Illinois House of Representatives on June 1 by a vote of 83-29-1. Representative Cabello was among the 29 members who voted No. Governor Pritzker signed the increase into law on June 28.
Cabello’s bill to fully repeal the gas tax increase during a sustained period of high unemployment, House Bill 3937, has been referred to the House Rules Committee where it awaits a hearing.
Representative Cabello serves the 68th District, which includes portions of Rockford, Loves Park, Machesney Park and Cherry Valley.