Illinois city approves additional 2-cent tax on diesel

| 8/1/2008

Known as an oasis for truckers because of the its three large truck stops along Interstates 57 and 64, Mount Vernon, IL, is poised to impose an additional 2-cent per gallon diesel tax, following a recent City Council meeting. This is bad news for truckers already struggling with record-high fuel prices.

Mount Vernon Mayor Mary Jane Chesley told Land Line on Tuesday, July 29, that no date has been set on when the new tax will go into effect because the ordinance has not been signed yet.

“I hate to be evasive, but it’s unknown territory right now on the signing of that ordinance … as of right now, it has not been signed so formal action has not been taken,” said Chesley.

Jackie Sharp, who is the city clerk in Mount Vernon, said Chesley must sign the ordinance first before she can attest her signature. However, Chesley opposed the way the taxes were voted on by the Council without the people of Mount Vernon having the “opportunity to vote on the taxes” and is reportedly holding off on signing the ordinance.

Three truck stops, including a Pilot Travel Center, a Travel Center of America and a Hucks Travel Center, are all located at Mount Vernon’s Exit 95.

An OOIDA member who has been following the debate on the 2-cent diesel tax called Land Line on Monday, July 28, to “get the word out to other truckers about the city’s plan to tax truckers passing through their town.”

The Council also approved two other taxes at its July 21 meeting, including a 1 percent restaurant/beverage tax and an increase in the telecommunications tax from 1 percent to 2 percent.

Since June 9, the Council has been debating ways to increase funding for a new overpass interchange project. Chesley said the accumulation of those three taxes could generate approximately $900,000 a year in revenue for the city.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer