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Article posted: 12/18/2013 5:07 PM

Gas station owners protest Mount Prospect motor fuel tax hike

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Gas station owners appeared before the Mount Prospect village board Tuesday protesting trustees' decision to double the village's motor fuel tax next year to raise money for road maintenance.

The owners said the hike -- increasing the tax from 2 cents to 4 cents a gallon as of Jan. 1 -- would be a burden to their businesses and make them less competitive with stations in neighboring suburbs.

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"It is very difficult for us as gas station owners to be in business right now," said Koula Louras, who owns the Citgo station/Express Gifts at 630 W. Rand Road. "We're surrounded by other suburbs that have no gas tax, which puts us at a disadvantage.

"We're making pennies on the gallon," she added, estimating that the tax increase will cost her business $30,000 a year. "This time we make nothing on the gallon. This time we're losing on the gallon."

The gas-tax hike is part of a five-year financial plan to address a 13.3-mile backlog in road repairs and fund future infrastructure needs. The plan also includes raising vehicle sticker fees, shifting more of the financial burden for garbage collection away from property taxes and to a direct charge on residents and businesses, and borrowing $6.5 million.

"We appreciate you sharing your opinion with us." Mayor Arlene Juracek told gas station owners Tuesday, noting that the five-year plan includes only one gas-tax increase. "It's certainly a viewpoint that we try to take into account."

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