Rep. Tom Weber uses video to chide lawmakers about rising Illinois taxes
State Rep. Tom Weber (R-Fox Lake) made sure his vehicle’s fuel tank was full the evening of June 30, the day before a 19-cents-per-gallon increase in the gasoline tax – double the previous rate – went into effect.
In a Facebook video, Weber wears a shirt bearing an American flag motif as he refuels his vehicle at an unknown station. The new fuel tax will rank Illinois No. 3 in terms of fuel costs, according to the Illinois Policy Institute.
“I’m urging people if you get a chance and you’re still up tonight to go out and fill up your gas tank,” he says, addressing the camera.
But there is another piece of information Weber shares with constituents.
“Up here in District 64 we border with Wisconsin – within a mile of the border of Lake and McHenry counties,” he explains, suggesting frugal drivers could drive to the (cheaper) neighboring state.
Weber also mentioned other tax increases that could hurt local businesses in his district, and across the state.
“Between the dollar increase on cigarettes, we have a 19 cent (tax hike) on fuel, and the county can add another 8 cents if they want,” Weber said. “So between those two things and the $15 minimum wage, (for) small businesses and gas stations up here along the Wisconsin border in District 64, it’s going to hurt them, it’s going to have an impact.”
The tax increases of fuel and cigarettes are part of the agenda pushed by newly elected Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who defeated Republican Bruce Rauner in the November 2018 general election.
“In just the first year, the gas tax will take $1.2 billion more from Illinois drivers, or an average of $100 more per driver,” according to a report from the Illinois Policy Institute.
The report said Pritzker had increased 20 fees and taxes across the state since taking office as part of “the state’s record $40.6 billion budget.”
“I urge fellow [residents] who live here in District 64 to try to do as I do, and support our local businesses," Weber said in closing. "As a small business owner, I like to do what I can to help support them. Anyway if you can get out and fill up your tank tonight.”