Coming on the heels of last week's news that Illinois has the highest taxes in the entire nation, we get a report that looks at Illinois' gas taxes and compares them to the rest of the country. We're not the highest, but...

With a little effort we could get there. But seriously, other than state government, who really wants that?

The report I'm looking at comes from the American Petroleum Institute (API), and it points out that when Illinois doubled its gas tax from 19 to 38 cents per gallon a couple of years back, Illinois went from having the 10th highest gas taxes in the country to now having the 2nd highest.

Looking At The Numbers

The API study took a fine-toothed comb to the gas taxes in each state and found that Illinois charges 77.96 cents per gallon with both federal and state taxes and fees combined. Federal tax on a gallon of gas is 18.4 cents, while the Federal tax on a gallon of diesel is 24.3 cents.

Taking the number one spot for highest gas taxes is California, where they charge 85.38 cents a gallon. Alaska was lowest at 33.38 cents.

It's Tough On The Illinois/Missouri Border

Well, at least it's tough on Illinois gas station owners because while Illinois has the second-highest gas taxes in the United States, Missouri has the second-lowest. The API study has Missouri's gas tax at 35.82 cents, which means the same gas in Illinois will run you 42 cents more per gallon.

This Won't Make You Feel Better

The number-crunchers at Illinois Policy Institute point out that because of the way the taxes are configured, it's going to get worse:

State leaders now can avoid voting on politically unpopular gas tax hikes because they tied future taxes to inflation, with automatic increases every July 1. Illinois is one of seven states that levies sales tax on top of gas taxes, which is essentially taxing the taxes. During the course of a year, the average gasoline tax is $408 per driver ­– $105 a year more than before Illinois doubled the gas tax in 2019.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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