McDonough County may raise sales tax to fix potholes
McDonough County maintains 180 miles of road and is asking voters to support a sales tax increase to pay for repairs.
MACOMB, Ill. (WGEM) -
Next time Connie Joneis goes shopping in McDonough County, she could be paying a little more.
The McDonough County Board will put a quarter-cent sales tax to vote on the April 7 ballot that would be used pay for road upkeep. That means an extra 25 cents per every 100 dollars spent on retail goods.
Joneis says the roads are bad, but she's not willing to pay more to fix them.
"25 cents is 25 cents, especially when you're on a fixed income," Joneis said.
The county has been losing money from the state motor fuel tax and now potholes are all over the 180 miles of road that the county maintains.
"Our buying power has shrunk, therefore we've not been able to maintain a regular seal coat program and that has led to the deterioration of the roads," County Board Chair Scott Schwerer said.
Schwerer says it's also getting more expensive to take care of roads. He says the tax would generate about a half a million dollars in funds each year.
"We could have put any amount on there," Schwerer said. "We chose this amount because we felt it would give us some additional funds, but yet not over burden the taxpayers."
Jay Cremer says the roads are bad, and he doesn't mind paying a little extra to get them in better shape.
"I know the cost of everything is going up now and the cost to maintain the roads is gonna go up, so yes, we're going to have to pay more," Cremer said.
The tax would not affect grocery store food, cars and medicine. If the sales tax increase passes, the change will go into effect on July 1 of this year.