Letters to the Editor

Letter: Wrong time to raise gas prices in Kane County

To the editor:

With the price of gas going up nationally, the Kane County Board is inexplicably ignoring rising inflation and is set to vote on a 2 cent per gallon increase on gas taxes in the County at the upcoming County Board meeting on Nov. 9.

On the surface, a 2 cent per gallon tax may not seem like much. After all, what is a couple of pennies per gallon?

Of course, there is more to this than just a couple of extra cents on a gallon of gas. If the County Board approves this tax increase, Kane County will immediately have the dubious distinction of joining Cook County and several other counties in the top tier of gas prices in Illinois.

Based on the current averages, the proposed Kane County gas tax would put the price of gas in Kane County at about 16 cents per gallon higher than the national average.

Illinois already has some of the highest gas prices in the country as inflation and taxes continue to drive the cost of motor fuel up. The doubling of the gas tax in 2019 has dramatically increased the cost of fuel in Illinois, which now has the third highest gas taxes in the nation. The addition of even more taxes on motor fuel is only going to serve to increase the cost of gas for residents of Kane County and ultimately lead to more and more people looking elsewhere in the region to purchase gas.

We all know how gas stations along the Cook County border attract Cook County residents looking to save money on fuel. Does Kane County want to suffer the same fate?

Inflation is driving up the cost of goods and services everywhere and limiting the ability of working families to pay for basic necessities. Increasing the cost of motor fuel in Kane County will only add insult to injury.

It is time for our elected leaders to consider the impact of raising taxes has on the local economy and to take the concerns of citizens seriously. Just because the Kane County Board can raise taxes does not mean they should. The tax is not being implemented to address infrastructure emergencies. The purpose behind the proposed tax hike is to have the resources to move forward on unfunded projects that have not been prioritized in the past.

If these projects are not completely necessary, why do them now? Why start projects when the cost of construction is higher than it has ever been in a long, long time? Inflation is affecting the price of motor fuel, but it also is affecting the price of raw material to build roads and bridges. It makes no sense to start addressing an infrastructure wish list at a time when the cost of construction is so high.

I urge Kane County Board members to exercise some restraint and reject the proposed gas tax increase. With the economy still recovering from the pandemic and the cost of goods and services on the rise, now is not the time to increase the gas tax in Kane County.

Josh Sharp

Illinois Fuel & Retail Association