I-Team: $5 Vehicle Registration Fee

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) Luzerne county residents may soon have to pay a five dollar registration fee for every vehicle they own.   It’s part of a plan to help tackle a massive county debt and repair roads and bridges.  But many county residents are not happy with the idea. The I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick has our story.


Phil Pisano runs a gas station  in Wilkes-Barre. He’s says  he can’t understand why he must pay-up again.

 
“I don’t think it is a good idea because we already pay enough taxes already. What about the gasoline tax where is all that money going.”

The Luzerne County council is exploring the idea of imposing a five-dollar vehicle registration fee….they estimate it would raise about $1.4 million dollars. Tim McGinley is council vice-chairman..

 “That money would go directly to road and bridges. It cannot be used for anything else in the county.”

Under state law, counties  can impose a  maximum five-dollar fee on each vehicle a person owns. Victoria Jones says that such a fee would impact her daily spending.

 
“Well I have two vehicles that wold be an extra $10 bucks..that seems as not much but I’m a single mom and at the end of the day it is a great tax for me.”


Frank Hine runs a construction supply business. He says fees have a way of not being spent for what they were originally intended.

 
“They passed a dike tax for all the people in the flood plain. If you go down on the dike the grass is two feet high. It hasn’t been cut yet since the beginning of the year.”

McGinley says the fee would take some of the county’s financial burden off property owners.

 
“It is a chance to diversify our revenue for everone who would own a vehicle. It is not just property owners that are hit every time.”

 It’s been tried three other times in the last decade – each attempt has PennDOT would collect the five dollar fee when people renew their license plates each year. The state would then send the money to the county.

McGinley says Luzerne County council is still researching the fee and has no idea when it might come up for a vote failed.


 

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