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Homewood readies fuel tax for summer collection

Homewood amended its gas tax ordinance this week to ensure the new levy will be collected this summer.

Governor JB Pritzker signed a bill last summer allowing municipalities to impose a motor fuel tax of up to 3 cents per gallon. That bill had to be adjusted and will go into effect July 1. Towns have until April 1 to have a tax filed and approved by the Illinois Department of Revenue, which will do the collecting.

The village originally approved a tax in July 2019. The measure approved at the March 10 meeting only clarifies the language in that ordinance. 

The revenue generated by the tax will be used to improve streets and pay for rock salt and other road-related costs. Homewood added $300,000 to the budget in anticipation of that income but that number is an estimate and will be adjusted in future budgets.

“Due to the limited amount of (motor fuel tax) funds we receive, we have been unable to maintain streets as much as they should be, resulting in many streets being in significant disrepair,” Village Manager Jim Marino said in a memo to the board last summer.

In other business, the village board approved a bid from Thornton firm Gallagher Asphalt Corporation for resurfacing several streets throughout the village. Homewood will pay Gallagher $678,783. An additional $13,000 for construction materials testing puts the final tally at $691,783. 

The project was budgeted for $700,000.

Planned improvements for Delta Road, Olive Road and Riegel Oaks Lane were removed from the project in order to keep it under budget. 

A Class 8 Cook County property tax incentive was renewed for Homewood Disposal. The incentive was originally approved for the company in 2008, when the assessed property taxes were $113,900.

Homewood Disposal’s current property taxes would increase to $67,871 annually, according to village documents, without the renewal. The incentive cuts that figure to $27,149. 

The Class 8 is designed to help Cook County compete for businesses with collar counties and Indiana, where property taxes are lower.

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