First installment of new fuel tax in Lake County brought in $945,000

  • A new 4-cent-per-gallon local fuel tax in Lake County raised $945,000 in July. County officials plan to use the new revenue source to fund four projects next year.

    A new 4-cent-per-gallon local fuel tax in Lake County raised $945,000 in July. County officials plan to use the new revenue source to fund four projects next year. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

  • Revenue sources for the Lake County Division of Transportation's proposed 2022 capital plan

    Revenue sources for the Lake County Division of Transportation's proposed 2022 capital plan Courtesy of Lake County Division of Transportation

 
 
Updated 10/29/2021 6:37 PM

The first installment of Lake County's 4-cent-per-gallon gas tax, approved in March as a new revenue source for transportation-related projects, is in and on target with initial estimates.

A check for $945,000 recently received by the Lake County Division of Transporation represents the proceeds for July, the first month the new tax was collected. State disbursement typically arrives a few months after the tax is collected.

 

One month is a snapshot, but it's a good sign for the measure, known as the county option motor fuel tax.

"Until we have a year or two or three, we don't really know what this fund source will provide," said Shane Schneider, director of the transportation division. "We think $10.4 (million a year) is a good place to start."

Lake County didn't have authority to impose the tax until 2019 and became the last of the collar counties to do so.

Supporters said a new source of revenue was needed to help address $1.7 billion in improvements identified in the county's 2040 transportation plan.

After considerable debate, the original proposal for an 8-cent-per-gallon tax was reduced to 4 cents per gallon. The county board approved it in March by a 14-7 vote.

The county option motor fuel tax is one of five revenue sources -- not including federal or state grants -- in LCDOT's proposed $85 million capital budget for the next fiscal year, beginning Dec. 1.

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Four projects are proposed to be funded by the county option motor fuel tax in the 2022 budget year:

• Design engineering for the realignment of Cedar Lake Road from between Hart and Nippersink roads in Round Lake.

• A preliminary engineering study of the Fairfield Road corridor from Route 134 to Route 60 in Avon Township.

• Feasibility study of grade separations of the CN Railroad at Monaville Road near Lake Villa and Peterson Road in Libertyville.

• Work associated with Hart Road improvements at the Flint Creek bridge in Barrington.

Schneider presented the information Wednesday at one of three sessions this week on the proposed $601.5 million overall county budget for fiscal year 2022.

A much larger source of transportation revenue is the Regional Transportation Authority sales tax. Lake County has dedicated its quarter-percent share solely to transportation projects.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In 2022, LCDOT is proposing $34.9 million for 14 projects from that source for its capital program. That's up 12.6% from this year.

"We are expecting a full recovery from COVID numbers," Schneider said.

LCDOT's overall recommended budget is $109 million and includes $24 million for operations.

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