House Republicans calling for inflation relief bills to be considered
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) - Prices are climbing at the pump and in the grocery check-out lane, and some Republican lawmakers are calling for their bills providing tax relief to be considered.
Lawmakers are promoting a bill that would freeze the Illinois sales tax on gasoline at 18 cents per gallon for regular fuel. The tax currently sits at 25 cents per gallon and could go up as prices increase.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker proposed freezes on raising the gas tax and grocery tax in his budget for the next year. However, Reps. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon), Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis), Mark Luft (R-Pekin), and Amy Elik (R-Alton) argue more should be done sooner.
Even since the governor’s address in January, gas prices have risen. The average price a month ago was $3.68 per gallon; now it’s nearly a dollar more at $4.54 a gallon, according to AAA. Inflation is at the highest rate it’s been in 40 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
They argue these policies would help relieve struggling Illinois residents from rising costs. Representatives on border districts say it’s no secret that residents cross state lines to get fuel and food in a state where the taxes are cheaper.
“Across the river from my district is St Louis. It is not uncommon to see gas prices in Missouri anywhere from 50 cents to 70 cents a gallon cheaper than Illinois on a given day,” Elik said.
In terms of exploring other ways to ease financially struggling families, such as raising the minimum wage, Demmer said they wanted to focus on tax relief.
“We need to think about what we can do to respond to the very significant and quick surge in prices,” Demmer said. “I mean this inflation rate has happened very quickly, and it’s affected prices immediately.”
A statement from House Democrats was not available on request, but the story will be updated when it comes through.
None of the proposals from the House Republicans have seen significant movement since they were introduced. House and Senate bills face a deadline of next Friday to have all bills out of committee. There are only a few more weeks left in the session, which is set to wrap up April 8.
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