Some Boone County Board members want a new source of revenue for the county, but they need to get approval from the state of Illinois to do it.
A bill to increase gas tax statewide is gaining speed. While the bill is open, Boone County is hoping to get on a short list of other counties, giving it power to locally increase gas tax.
“Every taxing body is hurting for money now,” said Sherry Giesecke, Vice Chairman of Boone County Board.
Some state of Illinois lawmakers want to get more money flowing into the state. One option is gaining momentum in Springfield, to hike up gas tax for the first time in almost 30 years.
While lawmakers are discussing that bill, another portion of it is open for debate, the ability for counties to impose their own fuel taxes.
“This is piggybacked with some state legislation for a 44 cent a gallon motor fuel tax,” said Brad Stark, Boone County Board Dist. 3 and Roads and Capital Improvements Chair.
“While this bill is opened up and while this legislation is opened up, we just wanted to be added to that to have another tool in the toolbox, so that we can, if needed in the future, we can implement that as an option for revenue,” said Justin Krohn, Boone County Engineer.
Currently, only three counties in the state have the ability to locally tax fuel. Boone County is asking its representatives to be added to that list to make sure the dollars spent on gas directly help the county.
“Not have been necessarily imposed on our citizens, but as people that are driving by on the interstate, purchasing gas that is not necessarily our citizens,” Giesecke said.
“County sales tax stays within the county,” Krohn said. “The state sales tax is independent of where it’s collected. It all goes down to Springfield and from Springfield it’s distributed to multiple different agencies.”
While, to some the people driving through Boone County are the target for this change. If taxes do increase, there’s no denying citizens will be affected as well.
“I know everyone’s always looking for another source of revenue, but at the end of the day, we just can’t keep coming back to the same people over and over and over,” Stark said.
The letter requesting to be able to increase their own gas tax will be sent to Springfield later this month.