DECATUR– A local motor fuel tax could be the solution for Decatur’s crumbling roads.
The creation of a five cent local motor fuel tax will be the focal point of a study session during Monday night’s Decatur City Council meeting.
Decatur City Manager Tim Gleason says the proposed tax would help fund roadway improvements on the city’s less traveled roads like neighborhoods and side streets, “With funding being the way that it has been for the past several years many of these streets have been overlooked because the city had no money, this tax would change that and would allow us to focus on improving neighborhood streets.”
Gleason brought up the idea of a five cent tax during his priorities presentation late last year as a new revenue stream that would help the city catch up on much needed projects.
Decatur is one of the only major cities in Central Illinois without a local motor fuel tax, Gleason says communities like Springfield, Champaign, and Bloomington have had one in place for several years, “I was surprised to learn when I came here eight months ago that we didn’t have a local motor fuel tax because many of the communities our size have already had one in place.”
Gleason says the tax proposal to be discussed Monday night will include provisions like a five year sunset on the tax, and a clause stating the money will only be used towards road projects, “We want the residents of Decatur to have faith that the money will go towards what we say it will go towards, and that’s roads.”
Early estimates show that the tax would raise $300,000 for every one cent, so a five cent tax would bring in roughly $1.5 to $1.8 million annually.
The Decatur City Council meets Monday night at 5:30 in the council chambers on the 3rd floor of the Decatur Civic Center. A City Council agenda can be found here.