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Local

County advocates for more local road dollars

Governor's plan would double gas tax

DIXON – The county is advocating for a better share of the state’s motor fuel tax dollars, to use to repair local roads.

The Lee County Board approved a resolution earlier this week calling for the state to better fulfill county and township road system needs, as motor fuel tax funding has been relatively stagnant the last 3 decades while costs continue to increase.

About 89 percent of the roads running through the state are local, and they carry 40 percent of overall traffic, County Engineer Dave Anderson said, citing 2016 data.

The state’s funding formula for the motor fuel tax, the charge per gallon the state collects, has remained the same since 1990.

In 1983, municipalities were getting 38 percent of gas tax revenue, and that’s decreased overtime to about 21 percent.

Because of increased costs over the years, money that would stretch to fixing 10 miles of road now cover only about 4 miles, Anderson said.

Gov. JB Pritzker recently released the proposed “Rebuild Illinois” capital plan that would fund $41.5 billion in projects across 6 years, and it includes doubling the motor fuel tax from 19 cents to 38 cents per gallon, which would take effect July 1 if approved.

That’s estimated to generate an $1.2 billion annually with $650 million going to local governments and $560 million for the state.

The state’s last massive capital plan was in 2009 when former Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn signed the $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now Act.

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