Decatur council talks gas tax

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The Decatur City Council discussed a proposed tax on gas and diesel sales in the city during a meeting Monday.

Under the initial proposal, gasoline sales would be taxed at five cents per gallon and diesel sales would be taxed at one cent per gallon, a plan meant to account for existing taxes on diesel. Money from the tax would be used to fix crumbling city streets, with a goal of fixing the “worst first” according to city manager Tim Gleason.

“Transparency is critical for the community to understand where this money is going,” Gleason told the council. “There would be a website that shows … project number one: this cost, project number two …”

Some council members expressed concerns that such a tax would disproportionately affect working citizens and others.

“Companies … Ameren, UPS, the garbage, they do more damage to our roads as it is, and I want to make sure that we’re capturing some revenue from those companies,” said Councilman Pat McDaniel.

“The Federal gas tax is soon to be raised … the Illinois gas tax has not been raised since 1990,” said Councilman Bill Faber. “So we’re faced with not just a small motor fuel tax raise here in our local community, but with a state and federal tax raise.”

Still, others seemed resigned to the tax.

“Do I want another tax? No,” said Councilman Jerry Dawson. “But I also am tired of potholes, driving on these streets that are failing.”

While the council did not vote on a specific measure to create the gas tax, they could do so at an upcoming meeting.

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