Schaumburg trustees will vote Tuesday, May 23, on whether to impose a 3-cents-per-gallon motor fuel tax to sustain a recent $2 million increase in the village's annual street repair program.
If approved, the tax would take effect Oct. 1 and be expected to generate approximately $1.45 million per year.
The additional money is intended to address more quickly a backlog of local streets in need of full reconstruction.
Meeting as a committee of the whole this week, trustees unanimously recommended approval of the tax.
"I think it's time we took the reconstruction off the back burner and made it a priority," Trustee Frank Kozak said.
Trustee Tom Dailly said the need really hit home for him during a recent discussion that it could otherwise take five more years to get to some of the village's already failing streets.
"We've nibbled at our roadways, but we've never really addressed how much it would cost to really get the job done," Dailly said. "I'm very comfortable with this (tax). I like the idea of using this."
Schaumburg Finance Director Lisa Happ Petersen said she thought the motor fuel tax made sense compared to other funding sources that were considered because it looks to those who are using the streets.
At the same time, most of Schaumburg's 14 gas stations are on major state or county roads, ensuring that many non-village residents who travel them would also be contributing to the costs of local street repairs, she said.
The only fuel source in the village that would not be taxed is at the Schaumburg Regional Airport, whose vehicles don't use the roadways, she added.
Last year, the village board directed staff to increase the annual street repair budget from $6 million to $8 million.
But while this would be sustainable for five years, there would be a deficit of $6.5 million in the capital improvement fund after 10 years, Happ Petersen said.
New revenue from a motor fuel tax will sustain the $8 million street repair budget and create the possibility of expanding it to $10 million in the future if circumstances allow, she said.
Several other suburbs in the region already have a local motor fuel tax. Those collecting 2 cents per gallon include Batavia, Bloomingdale, Carpentersville, Countryside, Rosemont, West Dundee and Hoffman Estates. Collecting 4 cents per gallon are Aurora, Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Naperville, Rolling Meadows, Warrenville and Woodridge.