SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A controversial five-dollar registration fee is resurfacing. Four counties in our region already charge residents the fee and Lackawanna County is now looking to join them.
Pennsylvania vehicle registration fees could soon increase from $39 to $44 in Lackawanna County.
The majority of commissioners are looking to join Lycoming, Schuylkill, Pike, and Union Counties, to fix the county-owned bridges and roads.
“I believe in fixing roads and bridges and any possible way that we have to do to get it there,” said Pablo Vizcarrondo, Scranton resident.
Vizcarrondo says if it passes, he supports the $5 increase.
“I believe they are doing the right thing with the money and I just hope they can give us something back in the end,” Vizcarrondo said.
Commissioners Debi Domenick and Jerry Notarianni are looking to dip into PennDOT’s 2013, “Fee for local use fund,” a $2 million match grant.
Act 89 allows counties to pass an ordinance to implement the annual fee for transportation purposes.
Lackawanna County Commissioner Chris Chermak is against it.
“I have no problem investing more money into roads and bridges,” said Chermak. “Now we have the ARP, the American Rescue Plan, so that is for infrastructure. I think we should utilize some of that money.”
Chermak says county residents are already getting hit with taxes and fees.
“Even though it’s only $5, it’s another fee,” Chermak said.
Jerry Notarianni says the county has to act now before the grant is gone. Of the 150 county bridges, 28 need fixing, totaling $21 million. That’s not including more than 30 miles of roads. With the $5 fee, the county will generate around $900,000 a year.
“The bridges are the big deal, but the roads are an issue too. It’s a fair tax. It’s not on property owners. Everyone who has a car got to pay it,” said Notarianni