Facts Matter: Yes, gasoline taxes are higher in Illinois than in Indiana

  • Gas prices at the Island Lake Thorntons station on Monday, July 1, 2019, after the state's new gas tax was put in place.

      Gas prices at the Island Lake Thorntons station on Monday, July 1, 2019, after the state's new gas tax was put in place. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/27/2019 5:22 PM

Following the recent hike in the state excise tax on gasoline, some Illinois residents have crossed the border into Indiana to fill up their vehicles, according to PolitiFact.com.

During a podcast interview earlier this month, state Comptroller Susana Mendoza defended the tax, claiming Indiana drivers still pay more for gas than Illinois residents, PolitiFact said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Indiana actually has a higher gas tax than Illinois does even with the increase in taxes," Mendoza said in the podcast. "We used to only pay 19 cents a gallon for taxes here in Illinois on the gas tax, whereas Indiana has been paying 43 cents a gallon for their gas tax. So ours, even at 38 cents, is still less than what Indiana pays today."

However, according to Mendoza's spokesman Abdon Pallasch, she was given outdated figures from a 2018 report by the American Petroleum Institute (API), which include all motor fuel taxes and fees by state, not just excise taxes, PolitiFact said.

With those numbers, state taxes and fees on gas in Indiana totaled 42.9 cents per gallon while the additional cost per gallon in Illinois was 37.32 cents, PolitiFact said. Using the 2019 figures reported by API, Illinois residents pay 54.98 cents per gallon compared to 46.62 cents per gallon in Indiana.

Pallasch acknowledged Mendoza was using outdated statistics.

"After the [podcast] I went back and looked at the numbers and realized that it was an inexact comparison," Pallasch told PolitiFact. "She used an apples-to-oranges comparison."

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In a comparison done by PolitiFact.com, a gallon of gas at a Mobil station in Calumet City was priced at $3.45 while a gas station in Hammond, Indiana, two miles from there, was selling gas for $2.99 per gallon.

President didn't try to stop chant

President Donald Trump, during a July 17 rally in Greenville, North Carolina, was speaking about Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. As Trump referred to Omar at the North Carolina rally, the crowd began booing and chanting "send her back."

The following day while answering reporters' questions at the White House, Trump said, "I was not happy with [the chant]. I disagreed with it. ... I think I did [try to stop it]. I started speaking very quickly," the Post reported.

But Trump didn't try to stop the chant or begin speaking while it was going on and "video of the rally totally debunks his claim," the Post said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The president stood passively onstage and waited for 13 seconds as the crowd continued the "send her back" chant, the Post said. As the chants died down, Trump resumed his speech.

Omar, along with fellow representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, had been the recent target of attacks by the president. In a July 14 tweet, Trump said the three congresswomen should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came," according to The Washington Post.

In this Wednesday, July 10, photo provided by Jeff Simmons, U.S. women's soccer player Ashlyn Harris raises her left arm next to her teammates Allie Long and Megan Rapinoe outside the Museum of Jewish Heritage before a victory parade in New York City to celebrate the team's Women's World Cup title. Stories circulating online incorrectly asserted that Harris is gave a Nazi salute.
In this Wednesday, July 10, photo provided by Jeff Simmons, U.S. women's soccer player Ashlyn Harris raises her left arm next to her teammates Allie Long and Megan Rapinoe outside the Museum of Jewish Heritage before a victory parade in New York City to celebrate the team's Women's World Cup title. Stories circulating online incorrectly asserted that Harris is gave a Nazi salute. - Associated Press Photo
Soccer champion not giving Nazi salute

The U.S. women's soccer team on July 10 gathered in New York City for a ticker-tape parade to celebrate their Women's World Cup victory.

Prior to the parade, a breakfast was held in their honor at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, according to The Associated Press. Following the breakfast, U.S. teammates Allie Long, Megan Rapinoe and Ashlyn Harris posed for a photo as Harris raised her left arm in celebration.

But that gesture was misinterpreted, AP said.

False claims such as "Nazi salute in front of Holocaust Museum! Liberals are the true fascist!" accompanied the photo on social media, AP said.

Jeff Simmons, executive vice president for Anat Gerstein Inc., a public relations firm that works with the Museum of Jewish Heritage, took the photo.

"Clearly, this was a sign of victory as if they were on the field, and nothing more," Simmons told AP. "Any suggestion otherwise is ill-intentioned and simply wrong."

In the photo, Harris' left arm is raised high and angled, her palm is open and her fingers are spread, AP said. In a Nazi salute, a person's right arm is extended to the front, just above the shoulder with the palm facing downward.

FDA not changing ice cream packages

Police in Lufkin, Texas, said they won't charge a teen who was identified as the subject of a viral video showing the girl removing a tub of ice cream from a Walmart freezer, opening the package, licking the top of the ice cream and returning the container, according to The Associated Press.

Blue Bell Creameries, after identifying the Texas store involved in the social media video earlier this month, found and removed the "compromised" container, AP said.

However, reports the Food and Drug Administration will require ice cream cartons to be sealed with plastic due to the video are false, AP said.

"The issue that sparked this is a matter for local law enforcement at one retail location," Peter Cassell, press officer for the FDA, told AP.

False Facebook and Twitter posts also claimed the new FDA requirements would lead to higher ice cream prices, AP said.

The video, showing the teen laughing as she licks and replaces the container, has been viewed millions of times online, AP said.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at boboswald33@gmail.com.

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