Dunn County is discussing a $20 vehicle vehicle registration fee as part of its 2020 budget.
If adopted, the wheel tax would be required for each car, van, SUV and truck under 8,000 pounds that is registered with an address in the county.
Trucks registered as “Farm” or those that weigh more than 8,000 pounds along with buses, motorcycles and motor homes would be exempt.
The fee would take effect beginning in 2020 if the county approves the plan at its meeting on Nov. 12.
An estimated $726,000 could be raised per year based on the 36,300 vehicles in the county, according to the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles.
“Maintenance and repairs to the County’s trunk road system is a critical need,” County Manager Paul Miller said at the county’s most recent board meeting on Wednesday.
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The county board’s executive committee recommended the fee and it would be collected upon renewal of current registrations.
Following state law, funds received from a wheel tax must be used for county road repairs, maintenance and improvement.
As of 2016 data, surrounding counties Chippewa and St. Croix have a $10 fee while Eau Claire County has a $30 fee. Chippewa County’s vehicle registration fee will end at the end of the year. Eleven counties in the state have wheel taxes.
According to county data there are 425 miles of highway with average age of the roads being 37 years old. Asphalt prices have nearly doubled since 2005 as the product has risen from $23.8 per ton to $46.5 a ton.
Miller said the registration fee would lessen the amount of money used from the general fund for road projects.
“For years the state has underfunded local roads, and while the new biennium budget is an improvement, Dunn County has a lot of catching up to do,” Miller said.