Questions raised in Williamson County over motor fuel tax

If you live on the edge of Williamson County, Illinois, the motor fuel tax you pay could be going to help another county.

Williamson County Engineer Greg Smothers recently found out that for years the motor fuel tax has been distributed against state statute. The tax is being distributed by your zip code, instead of based on your registered vehicle.  

"If they live on the north side of Williamson County and they have a West Frankfort mailing address, Franklin County is getting the benefit from those registered vehicles. Same goes for the east, south, and west side of the county," said Smothers.

Hunter Damm has lived in Williamson County all of his life and owns a vehicle. He said he is surprised to hear where some of the tax money is going.

"If their car is registered to Williamson County, then it should go to Williamson County. It shouldn’t go to the next county. I don’t think that’s fair to Williamson County and the people who pay the tax," Damm said.

 The money from the tax is supposed to go toward road maintenance. One driver said that the county needs 100 percent of those funds.

"Some of the roads in Williamson County are pretty bad. It would definitely help if we did get the taxes that were supposed to come to our county," said Damm.

Smothers said he is going to keep working with the state to get the issue corrected.

The motor fuel tax is 19 cents per gallon. Smothers said the issue has been going on for so long that it’s hard to calculate how much revenue the county is losing. 

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