URBANA — City council members tonight could give final approval to a city gas tax hike, a move they narrowly supported in a preliminary vote last week.
Mayor Laurel Prussing has proposed that the city raise the gas tax in July from its current 2.4 cents to 4 cents per gallon, which would be identical to what the city of Champaign charges at the pump. The council is scheduled to meet on Monday at 7 p.m. in the Urbana City Building, 400 S. Vine St.
The tax, which council members first approved in 2010, is scheduled to rise to 2.8 cents in July. Prussing's proposal would bump it further — to 4 cents per gallon — and she has said the city needs the extra revenue to fix roads.
Council members voted 4-3 in favor of her plan last week. Alderpersons Diane Marlin, Dennis Roberts and Heather Stevenson opposed the increase.
Budgeters are expecting that the gas tax at the current 2.4-cent rate will bring in $442,000 by the time the fiscal year closes at the end of June. They estimate it could bring in just more than $736,000 at the 4-cent rate.
According to a city memo, the money could help fund a half-million-dollar project on Race Street between Washington Street and Michigan Avenue, which runs along the east side of Urbana High School.
The money could also support an estimated $350,000 project on Broadway Avenue between Illinois and Washington streets, which is directly north of the high school.
Public works officials list nine projects totaling $2.2 million in that memo of suggested road projects that could benefit from the local gas tax during the next fiscal year.