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Green Bay city council could vote on wheel tax

File photo (WLUK/Scott Hurley)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) – The Green Bay City Council could vote Tuesday on a plan to add a $20 “wheel tax” on vehicles registered in the city as a way to pay for road repairs.

According to the memo written by city staff – which endorsed the plan – the wheel tax would generate slightly more than $2 million per year for the city.

“Each scenario presented has a primary objective of reducing the need for and amount of special assessments for pavement construction that currently levied against abutting properties. It is anticipated that a wheel tax would generate more revenue than is currently generated through the levying of special assessments for pavement construction, so we have also provided a list of potential uses for the additional funds generated,” staff wrote.

A wheel tax would provide the city with $2,082,150. Currently, the special assessments on residential property owners generates about $750,000, while the non-residential assessments generate $350,000 annually.

That means, according to the memo, that the special assessments could be eliminated, the same amount of roadwork completed, and there would be $982,150 available for other programming. That other programming could include: alley reconstruction/resurfacing, creation of a reserve fund, expansion of how many miles of roads are rebuilt annually, additional maintenance work, a reduction in the property tax levy associated with roads, and rail crossing repairs.

City staff recommended reducing the non-residential special assessment by 50 percent instead of being eliminated, however, noting that many – but not all – commercial vehicles would be exempted from the wheel tax.

According to city research, 15 municipalities across the state have the wheel tax. Of those, 12 have the fee set at $20 per year, two charge $10 per year, and one charges $30 annually. The city of Appleton approved the $20 wheel tax in Sept. 2014.

At the Improvement & Services Committee meeting last…

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