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Mount Vernon seeing a decline in money allocated from diesel and state fuel tax

Gas prices are still on the rise and Illinois communities are also feeling those prices.
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 6:25 PM CDT
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MOUNT VERNON, Ill. (KFVS) -Illinois’ gas tax sits nearly at 40 cents a gallon, the fifth highest in the nation.

But higher prices do not add up to more money for local communities, whether it’s from the state gas tax or their own tax on fuel.

“Not good at all,” said Charles Madison, truck driver.

Madison says when he fills up his Semi it costs’ him between $600 to $800 every other day.

“They got us where they want us cause we got to do what we got to do. I mean but the thing is without these trucks nobody has anything,” said Madison.

In Illinois, the gas tax money that is allocated to city’s across the state is used for fixing roads and infrastructure.

The City of Mount Vernon does not have it’s own gas tax, they just have a 2-cent diesel tax.

“Regarding our 2 cent diesel tax, the thing that moves that needle is how many gallons are sold in the city limit. So as engines become more efficient and vehicles are more efficient we sell less gas, less diesel because of that,” said Mary Bechtel, City Manager Mount Vernon.

But even with high prices at the pump now, the city says both their Diesel tax and allocation of motor fuel tax from the state of Illinois is declining.

“In 2012 we were received about $60,000 that year for diesel, for the diesel revenue from that 2 cent tax. And it has steadily although it does fluctuate, there is a definitive trend downward to about between 42 and $44,000 a year,” said Bechtel.

In 2008, the city received about $450,000 dollars from the allocation of motor fuel tax from the state and this last year it was $321,000.

The city manger says regardless of what the price at the pump is, what they receive does not go up because of that.

“I notice 4.70 cents a gallon for gas and they’re thinking oh man, the city should be raking in a lot of money, no it isn’t that way,” said Bechtel.

I asked Madison if he feels the roadways are up to standard.

“No they are horrible,” said Madison.

In Illinois gasoline and diesel are taxed at different rates. Gasoline is taxed at 38 cents per gallon and diesel fuel is 45 cents per gallon.

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