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Amber Alert

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More truckers band together to bypass Mount Vernon fuel stops

Since two Texas-based trucking companies announced last week they were no longer going to fuel up in Mount Vernon, IL, because of the 2-cent-per-gallon tax on diesel – but not on gasoline – several other trucking companies and owner-operators have made the same decision.

Even though some admit they may be taking a risk and paying a little more for fuel a little further down the road, truckers said they are bypassing Mount Vernon because they are tired of being “picked on” as a revenue source while their trucking businesses struggle to stay afloat.

In September, the Mount Vernon City Council imposed the tax on diesel and an increase in their restaurant/beverage tax – both affecting truckers – which is expected to generate nearly $900,000 in additional revenue. Mount Vernon Mayor Mary Jane Chesley told Land Line Magazine in August the money was to be used to fund an overpass interchange project.

However, Mount Vernon City Manager Ronald R. Neibert told Land Line Magazine recently that the additional revenue was needed for the city’s emergency services. He said in the past two years the Mount Vernon Police Department assisted truckers at least 784 times, including those who “have been robbed or harassed by prostitutes and drug dealers.”