Think California has the highest gas prices in America? Think again. Chicago: the one party town wears that crown.
What are the consequences of living in the last of the one-party machine towns, a town that has hosted the Daley family as well as being the hometown of Barack Obama and the cronies he put in power (including Bill Daley, his Chief of Staff)? Politicians who have no problem imposing the highest gas prices in America on their citizens.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Chicago-area gas prices have been running about 50 cents per gallon more than the national average. Fifty cents doesn’t sound like much until you consider a two-car family might buy 1,400 gallons of gas a year, which siphons some $700 more from their pockets than other Americans.
The clipping of the wallet causes damage throughout the economy, as consumers have that much less money to spend on retail purchases, save for their future, invest in their children.
The main cause of the high prices? Taxes and regulations-the Democrats solution to all our problems. There is a “mind-boggling array of tax levies that get tacked on gasoline’s retail price.”
There are excise taxes (both federal and state — and actually the Illinois state tax is in-line with other states); but also taxes that are charged to fill the underground storage tank fund and environmental impact fees. But together these last two only amount to a penny a gallon.
The killer is the sales tax. Illinois is only one of seven states to charge a sales tax on gas. What makes it worse is that these taxes are not a fixed number of cents per gallon but fluctuate as a percentage of the sale. This is a recipe for compounding the damage to the consumers; as oil prices rise, so does the amount taken from Illinois drivers — at a faster rate than for others across America. The state sales tax is 6.25 percent, so the take per gallon rises as the total bill at the gas station rises.
Illinois is also unusual in that it allows counties and municipalities to also get in the action.
In Chicago, city, county and Regional Transportation Authority (for our government-run trains and buses) sales tax add a few more percent. Thank you, Democrats.
But wait..there’s more.
When you buy gas in Chicago, you pay a couple more flat taxes. The city of Chicago and Cook County not only levy sales taxes but also flat taxes of 5 cents and 6 cents, respectively. Illinois is the only state to allow all these different taxes to be levied in concert, Sykuta said.
Worsening the problem is that some sales taxes are applied on top of flat taxes, charging motorists tax on tax, which only accelerates the total cost.
“One reason for higher prices is because of the multiple layers of taxes in Chicago,” said John Felmy, chief economist at the American Petroleum Institute.
The grand total? Taxes add an average of 69 cents to every gallon of gas in Illinois, and far more in high tax areas such as Chicago. That places Illinois up with the highest gas-taxing states in the nation, along with Connecticut, 70.3 cents, and New York, 69.1 cents, according to an analysis by petroleum institute. The national average is about 50 cents.
Taxing taxes — a Democratic dream.
But wait …there are even more costs, courtesy of politicians. Chicago is required by the Environmental Protection Agency, as are most cities, to use pricier reformulated gasoline in the summer. Chicago formulated a toxic brew so unaffordable that the rest of Illinois gets to use a cheaper blend.
This boutique blend is pricier. What adds to the costs, is that the cocktail of summer gas must include a heavy dose of corn-based ethanol. Only a few refineries make this unique blend, adding more to the costs. No wonder Obama supported the ethanol industry: Illinois is the second-largest producer of corn. So this government-imposed rule was yet another sop to the ethanol industry. Since there are so few refineries in America (thanks to rules and regulations, and the NIMBY problem) an outage in any of the very few refineries that produce Chicago gasoline can cause prices to spike even when crude oil pricing is stable.
Chicago is a microcosm of what Democratic policies lead to: sky-high prices and the ever-present risk of government caused-shortages.
Obama sees benefits in high energy prices (he and his minions have repeatedly said so) –especially those that transfer money from motorists into the hands of Democratic politicians.
America, welcome to the world of Cook (“Crook”) County politics.