Flossmoor adopts 3-cent per gallon gas tax

Flossmoor has adopted a 3-cent per gallon tax on gasoline that will go toward funding the village’s annual street maintenance projects.
A law that went into effect July 1 under Gov. J.B. Pritzker's "Rebuild Illinois" program allowed non-home rule towns in Cook County to impose a local motor fuel tax of up to 3 cents per gallon. 
The Flossmoor Village Board voted to adopt the full 3-cent per gallon tax on Sept. 16.
Village Finance Director Scott Bordui said the tax would generate an estimated $30,000 to $40,000 in annual revenue.
An upside is that the revenue will come from everyone who stops in Flossmoor for gas, he explained.
“Like the non-home rule sales tax, I believe a fairly large portion of this tax will be paid by non-residents who are passing through on Vollmer Road or shopping in the Meijer shopping area,” Bordui said.
The Illinois Department of Revenue will be in charge of collecting the tax revenue and remitting it back to the village.
Passing the gas tax ordinance before Oct. 1 should allow Flossmoor to start collecting through IDOR by Jan. 1, Bordui said. The later start date would be July 1.
Bordui said putting the revenue in the General Fund will allow the village to apply it toward street maintenance expenses, providing some budgetary relief.
The village has budgeted an additional $250,000 for annual street maintenance in the General Fund the past two years, which was a large contributor to the $560,379 operating deficit in the FY 2020 budget, he added.
“This has been a pretty significant part of our operating deficit and is really not sustainable long term absent additional revenue or a decrease in services,” Bordui said.
Bordui said further guidance and clarification from legislators on how to use the revenue may be forthcoming, but as of yet there are no restrictions.
The tax also could be expanded statewide, as the law inadvertently excluded all counties except for Cook County, he said.

“There was an initial writing where Cook was excluded, and in the correction the opposite happened,” Bordui said.
Trustee Jim Mitros motioned to amend the ordinance to specify that the revenue would be restricted for street maintenance. The board passed his amendment before approving the ordinance.
Mitros said he was also concerned with the tax making Flossmoor's BP and Meijer gas stations less competitive with gas stations in nearby towns that may not have implemented the tax.
“Ultimately, I don’t want to make our stations not competitive with Speedway (in Olympia Fields),” he said.
However, other villages are panning out to be on board with the tax as well. 
Olympia Fields approved the 3-cent per gallon tax on Sept. 16 as well, and Homewood approved it July 9.

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