Urbana council may approve gas tax move

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.

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ronaldo wrote on May 21, 2012 at 8:05 am

"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."

Way to go, Laurel.  Way to NOT let any other municipality tax their citizens more than Urbana does.  I mean, Urbana does have a reputation to maintain, you know.

MadGasser wrote on May 21, 2012 at 11:05 am
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Seriously? I know there are other municipalities that tax its citizens more than Urbana. I tell you what, my friend, if you don't like living in a progressive town you're free to move to one of the numerous small dumps in proximity to Urbana-Champaign. In my opinion Urbana is the nicest community I have lived in, in central Illinios.

jimed wrote on May 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I hope champaign dosen't jump off a cliff!!

ronaldo wrote on May 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Well, besides Mahomet, offer up some names.  Locally, of course.

And while you're at it, share with us all some of these benefits to living in a "progressive" town over a non-progressive one.  And proximity to Birkenstock-wearing, granola-crunching, washed-up hippies does not fall under the umbrella of "benefit".

Oh, one more thing......just in case you mistakenly thought it did, your post does not answer one thing that I noted but goes off on some tangent trying to equate a "keeping up with the Jones' " tax increase as somehow a benchmark of a "progressive" community.

 

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm

"numerous small dumps in proximity to Urbana-Champaign"?  I realize that you have civic pride in your home town; but is it necessary to make statements like that?  Other small communities have civic pride also.  

David Illinois wrote on May 21, 2012 at 11:05 am

Is a 67% increase enough? 

cretis16 wrote on May 21, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Why should Prussing care...she's a 6 figure income household all coming from government money...what's a few more dollars in taxes? Look for more of this pounding on the citizenry for money to spend ....these people have a big appetite for tax dollars.