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HomeIllinois NewsIves: On this Independence Day, boycott the Illinois gas tax. America’s founders...

Ives: On this Independence Day, boycott the Illinois gas tax. America’s founders would be proud.




By Jeanne Ives - 

In the lead up to the Declaration of Independence, the colonists used a series of boycotts to protest the British Coercive Acts which were the British response to the Boston Tea Party.

Also known as the Intolerable Acts, these acts annulled Massachusett’s charter, forced colonists to quarter British soldiers, closed the Boston harbor, and moved trials for capital crimes outside the jurisdiction they were committed in.

It wasn’t the first time the colonists had used boycott’s to rebel against British actions. Just a few years earlier the colonists boycotted the Townsend levies on imported glass, paint, lead, paper, and tea. Before both of those acts, the British passed the Sugar Act, Currency Act, Quartering Act, and Stamp Act, all of them ineffective and ignored by colonists that refused to be abide them and who were opposed to “taxation without representation"

Fast forward to 2019, Illinoisans are using the same tactic as our founding fathers and boycotting the doubling of our gas tax. Numerous news outlets have reported on Illinoisan plated vehicles filling up across state lines to save $3, $4, $5 or more on gas. In some cases, people are driving an extra 20 minutes to do so. At that point, it isn’t for the savings, it is to simply deprive the predatory state government from any extra tax. It is an intentional citizen protest. And when they go to fill-up across the border, they are also shopping for other items and denying additional sales taxes to the state of Illinois. I applaud them and so would our founding fathers.

The legislature and Governor Pritzker took a sledge hammer to our economy last session. The bi-partisan combine passed the largest budget in state history despite record out-migration. Your political leaders did nothing to control spending or halt the continued growth in pensions at the state and local level. And after all of the spending they piled on more by passing a massive capital bill loaded up with pork projects, handing out more of your money for special projects that only legislators got to decide on. Democrats intentionally got twice as much money as Republicans. Our founding fathers would be appalled.

Meanwhile, on this Independence Day, Illinoisans are enslaved to $400 billion in debt and no way to pay it off. The $45 billion in new capital spending will add more debt to our state for generations to come. 

So take action. By all means protest and boycott as patriots did in the lead up to July 4, 1776. Then, next year take the revolution to the voting booth.  As Don Willet remarked in a Wall Street Journal commentary last September, “Citizenship is not a spectator sport.”


We live in the greatest country in the world.  We must never forget the battles fought over the revolutionary concept that our rights as persons do not derive from a monarch, a clergyman, a dictator or any other ruler. Our rights are inherent in our very being.  We are endowed with natural rights given to us by God. It is over this concept, and its corollary that natural rights can only be preserved by a people that are self-governed, that our founding fathers fought the American Revolutionary War.

It is now our job to preserve our nation for generations to come. A good old fashioned boycott may just be the first step to a tax revolt in Illinois.


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  1. Illinois has a GDP of about $860 BIllion a year. You can impute total assets in the state of at least $15 Trillion from that number. Those $15 Trillion produce income with labor, entrepreneurship and human capital from households. This is basic Macroeconomics.
    So, there is a way to pay off the $400 Billion in debt, most of which is actuarial and the vast majority of which is not due in the short term.
    The $45 Billion in Debt for the Infrastructure program will create additional assets for the state and will have positive benefits for workers in the state on the Demand side. Interest rates are low and likely to go lower so any Crowding Out effect to counter this will be minimal.
    The gas tax burden will also be shared by the businesses who sell gasoline so not all of it is born by the consumers. This is basic Microeconomics.
    More worrisome than the fiscal policies of Pritzker is the deterioration of our culture brought about by the same Pritzker administration. And the Dems have a supermajority and all constitutional offices in the state largely because the ILGOP has had leaders who either don’t understand economics or they are so blinded by their ideological constraints that voters in the middle just tune them out and vote for the Dems who promise what seems to them a more humane and caring government.
    Until a leader who understands this and has the ability and personality to articulate a more positive message emerges, the ILGOP is doomed to super-minority status, no matter how many Jeffersonian philippics we hear and how many tax revolts we initiate.

  2. Good luck on the boycott. Personally, because I live ten miles from the border of Nebraska, but have to drive 60 miles to a town of significance, I do all my grocery shopping in NE because KS charges sales tax on food, EVEN WATER!!! and we’ve got some of the hardest water in the world from the tap.
    So, I go once a week to NE and combine all my errands and play pickleball.

  3. This gas tax is GARBAGE! Not only do we need to drive but some of us have bigger size yards to now and city ordinances demand we keep it up. With the other taxes slapped on us in a big avalanche, we the hard working tax payers like myself will have to make cutbacks.