News Local/State

Decatur Mayor Favors Countywide Gas Tax For Street Repairs


The mayor of Decatur says using a motor fuel tax to repair crumbling streets is merely a topic of discussion now, and doesn’t expect a city council vote on such a plan anytime soon.

But Mike McElroy said a countywide tax might be a better approach than a city tax anyway.   He said with a city tax, motorists could avoid a higher price at the pump by driving to neighboring cities:

“I could drive to Mt. Zion, or I could drive to Forsyth, whatever," he said.  "And you’re not really helping anything.  We have an incredible amount of people who drive into Decatur to work every day, and then drive out of Decatur.  Well, they’re using those roads.  And I can’t think of any fair way for a tax if those who are using the roads and bridges are the ones paying the tax.”

McElroy suggests a countywide gas tax in Macon County of between 1 to 4 cents.

City officials have said about $6-million in repairs are needed around Decatur streets.

McElroy said pavement problems around Decatur are fairly widespread, and not contained to one area of the city.  He said street conditions have slowly worsened, with minimal work performed over the past decade.

A vote on a gas tax before the Decatur City Council hasn’t been scheduled.  A countywide gas tax would require approval of the Macon County Board, as well as the state legislature.