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Possible Gas Tax Hike in Galesburg


Galesburg may hike its gasoline tax to pay for road and infrastructure repairs. The Galesburg Chamber of Commerce is reaching out to see what the public thinks with an email survey.

The chamber says it will announce next week whether it supports the tax increase based on the results of its survey. The chamber said that it had already received 100 responses on Wednesday.

To try to directly raise the revenue necessary to make headway would be formidable

Fifth Ward Alderman, Peter Schwartzman, said the tax increase could be included in next year’s city budget.

Schwartzman said the idea came up in a council work session, and the reason the council has these work sessions is so people can voice their opinions before policy is put into effect.

He said the money would be used as collateral for a multi-million dollar bond issue which would then pay for road construction, and the time to issue those bonds is now, since interest rates are so low.

Schwartzman stressed the overall cost of road repair is quite large.

"To try to directly raise the revenue necessary to make headway would be formidable, and the amount of tax required to do that would be substantial.," Schwartzman said.

If the increase is passed, the fuel tax would go up four to eights cents and raise six-hundred-thousand dollars per year.

Scott Stuntz is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.