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Luzerne County Considering Vehicle Registration Fee

LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Luzerne County residents may soon have to pay a new fee.  County leaders are considering a $5 per vehicle registration fee.

The money would be used to pay for road and bridge repairs.  Ast the I-Team's Andy Melalshick tells us what it means to vehicle owners down the road.

"What it comes down to we can keep doing the same thing over and over again and we can get upset,” Said Dave Perdi, Luzerne County Manager, “That these potholes need to get fixed but there is not enough money. What we can try something different this is the way out to really fix those here in Luzerne County."

And that something different is to impose $5 dollar per vehicle registration fee... PennDOT says there are an estimated $281,000 registered vehicles in Luzerne County that translates into about $1.4 million dollars in revenue.  

 

But the discussion about the fee this year has been changed dramatically because of the actions of state lawmakers.

 

 

"But now the state has come out and said they will match up to $2 million dollars if that $5 dollar fee is used for bridges. So we have over 300 bridges many of which are in disrepair and need attention. This will allow us to work on the bridges." Said Tim McGinley, County Council Chairman.

County leaders say this fee would also take some of the pressure off property owners.

"This would be where the drivers the registration would be paying the fee for road and bridges not the property owners. That's one of the areas would go to property winners for taxes. This would shift that burden to people with registered vehicles." Said McGinley..

The proposed fee has people talking.

"I think it's a great idea but how about the people that are on a fixed income. They can't afford that $5 dollar. For people that could afford it it's good." Said Bob Ritts of Dallas.

There is an exemption for people who are retired, receiving social security or other pensions with an annual income of less than $19,200 dollars a year.

    There are exemptions to the fee. For example, vehicles that are owned by nonprofits, houses of worship and vehicles of totally disabled veterans. County council is expected to vote on the fee later this month.


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