City tax on diesel set to go into effect Sept. 1 in Mount Vernon, IL

| 8/14/2008

Truckers traveling through the state of Illinois might want to fuel up before they get to Mount Vernon.

That’s because the Mount Vernon City Council approved a 2-cent-per-gallon tax on diesel at their July 21 meeting. The diesel-only tax is set to go into effect Monday, Sept. 1. Two other local taxes also go into effect Sept. 1, including a 1 percent restaurant/beverage tax and an increase in the telecommunications tax from 1 percent to 2 percent.

Mount Vernon Mayor Mary Jane Chesley originally did not sign the ordinances to enact the taxes because she opposed the way they were voted on by the Council without the taxpayers having an “opportunity to vote on the taxes.” However, it was later determined that her signature was not necessary and that only a majority vote was needed to enact the ordinances. The vote was 3-2 in favor of the taxes.

The city is known as an oasis for truckers because of its three large truck stops along Interstates 57 and 64, including a Pilot Travel Center, a Travel Center of America and a Hucks Travel Center, located at Exit 95.

An OOIDA member called Land Line after the Council’s vote to “get the word out to other truckers about the city’s plan to tax truckers passing through their town.”

In a recent Land Line Web poll, 93 percent of respondents said they would bypass Mount Vernon and find another exit to buy fuel if the 2-cent diesel tax was enacted.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer