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Illinois gas tax increase now in effect will hit some drivers especially hard

With another tax hike in effect, Illinois motorists paying more at the pump
With another tax hike in effect, Illinois motorists paying more at the pump 02:28

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The halfway point of the calendar year has arrived, and new laws have gone into effect in Illinois—including a jump in the state gasoline tax that every driver will feel.

The tax is up just 2 cents compared with Sunday. But it is quite a jump compared with the Illinois gas seven years ago.

Back then, in 2017, it was 19 cents a gallon. It is now 47 cents.

For diesel, it is 54 cents.

"That is sobering. It's been a steep increase," David Greising, president and chief executive officer of the Better Government Association, "and 3 cents on July 1 doesn't sound like that much, but when you consider the substantial increases, really since JB Pritzker became governor, it's taking a big chunk out of people's pockets."

The extra two-cent "chunk" is already baked into what motorists pay at the pump—helping fuel a faster rise in these numbers than just one day ago.

"We don't drive that much, honestly, living in the city," said Jonathan Scoville of Lincoln Park, who added that he is always trying to drive less even then.

Scoville is happy about his lack of driving, as Illinois now clocks in with the second highest gas tax in the country. California takes the crown at 60 cents per gallon.

Illinois drivers feel gas tax increase now in effect 02:11

"Overall, the average Illinois driver will pay about $180 a year more because of this tax—and to somebody with low income, that's significant," Greising said.

Greising said the gas tax hike will create $70 million in new revenue to help with state infrastructure improvements.

"There are a lot of infrastructure needs, and so this does seems a pretty direct correlation—and one that a lot of drivers will find acceptable," Greising said. 

Two kinds of Illinois drivers are likeliest to feel this pinch.

"People in rural areas in particular, who have longer distances to travel, or those who need to commute on Chicago's roads and sit in traffic, burning fuel," Greising said, "those are the ones who will really feel this the most."

Illinois is one of nine states seeing the gas tax spike—right on the doorstep of the busiest travel weekend of summer.

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