Boone County considers seeking ability to issue local gas tax

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BOONE COUNTY (WREX) — What you pay at the pump could be taking a major jump.

That’s if the state passes new legislation doubling the gas tax from 19 cents to 44 cents. And it’s not just the state that wants to raise taxes.

“No one likes tax, I don’t like tax, but it is something that we have these needs coming up and we have limited options in how to pay for them,” Boone County Highway Engineer Justin Krohn said.

Boone County wants to join a list of counties that would be able to issue it’s own local gas tax, up to 8 cents per gallon.

“It would come straight to us, and we could, in my opinion, be more efficient at getting that into the roads and the bridges and not have other hands in that pocket,” Krohn said.

Krohn says Boone County is struggling to tackle looming bridge projects, which are estimated to cost the county millions. He says having control over a local tax could help make up for budget deficits.

“If we have other challenges that we’re faced with then at least we have a method of tackling those challenges,” Krohn said.

But some board members believe that method won’t work.

“If the county could raise it, to start leveling that tax on its own, but not when you’re staring down at the same time a big state increase,” Boone County Board Member Brad Stark said. “So, when is enough enough?”

That’s now the question facing lawmakers as they consider not only whether to tax you more when you fill up your tank, but whether to allow counties to do the same.

Dekalb County is also considering to ask the state to allow it to impose a local motor fuel tax. Both DeKalb and Boone County Boards will consider the resolutions at meetings on Wednesday, May 15.

Taylor Utzig

Taylor Utzig

Reporter

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