CITY COUNCIL | Motor tax to increase two cents

CITY COUNCIL | Motor tax to increase two cents

CITY COUNCIL | Motor tax to increase two cents

Sara Rasmussen

DeKALB — DeKalb city officials will increase motor taxes by two cents per gallon by March.

The council wants to use the money from the tax increase to fix roads in need of repair. Three people spoke out against the increase during public comments.

The Finance Advisory Committee has held multiple meetings to review the city’s finances, which affect the proposed budget and recommended the council’s consideration for the annual budget review.
 
Fourth Ward resident Dwayne Brown was one of the three residents to speak out against the fuel tax increase.
 
“This would perpetuate the border effect: people going to Sycamore to purchase gas and diesel fuel,” Brown said. “This increase would hurt consumers and slow the local economy, impact vehicle sales, increase carpool lanes and cause families to rethink their vacation plans.”
 
The council approved the second passage of the tax rate increase Jan. 8.
 
The Capital Projects Funds currently generates $360,000 a year in taxes and bonds. The rate increase is already expected to double the annual capital project funding to $720,000.
 
There are 130 centerline miles of roads owned and maintained by the city. Over 75 percent of DeKalb roads were ranked good or higher, covering close to 105 miles, according to a Jan. 3 City of DeKalb document. Infrastructure Management Services Inc. provides full service consulting and perform pavement condition surveys and pavement rehabilitation plans, according to its website. 
 
First Ward Alderperson David Jacobson is concerned for resident’s property value and damage to their vehicles when forced to drive down poor-quality roads.
 
“I think that [road repair] has to be one of our priorities as a council because it hasn’t been for so long here, and this is a step in the right direction,” Jacobson said. “This is a step. This is a minor cost that will —‑ at 30 or 40 cents a week, sometimes less for residents ­­— be shared with a lot of out-of-towners at the Casey’s station and the Oasis for certain.”
 

City’s anti-sexual harassment policy

The city is in the process of reviewing its anti-sexual harassment policy.

Governor Bruce Rauner amended the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, Nov. 16 that requires government entities to adopt a resolution to establish a policy prohibiting sexual harassment no later than Monday.

This act gives numerous prohibitions for state employees, such as political activities, bribery and ethics training in a short time period from the hire date. It also states other actions required of state employees.

These rules apply to all Illinois Secretary of State employees. The policy is being reviewed and updated to ensure compliance with the new act.

Mayor Jerry Smith spoke briefly on the policies approval.

“I think all of us are comfortable by virtue of our vote tonight that we have a good sexual harassment policy here in the city of DeKalb,” Smith said.