Driving could be getting more expensive in Plain City and Jerome Township.
Plain City and Jerome Township are each working on legislation that would add an additional fee each time a resident registers a vehicle.
In Plain City, village council is acting to impose an additional $10 per vehicle tax on vehicles in Union County and $5 for vehicles in Madison County.
According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Plain City already imposes a $15 fee on each registration in Madison County and $5 on each registration in Union County.
Jerome Township, which currently does not have a permissive fee, is also working to add a $5 fee for vehicles in the township.
State law requires the fees be used for “planning, constructing, improving, maintaining and repairing public roads, highways, streets, and for the maintaining and repair of bridges and viaducts.”
Jerome Township Trustee Ron Rhodes said the increased fee, “will allow us to do some things with our existing road and bridge funds.”
Jerome Township officials said that as the population in the community increases, so does use of the roads. Officials said that revenue collection is “always two to three years behind” the growth.
“What we do not have here is an operating levy and we are doing everything we can to avoid that but if things keep going the way they are, it is something we will have to look at,” Rhodes said.
Jerome Township Fiscal Officer Robert Caldwell said the increase could raise about $20,000 “maybe a little more” annually through the permissive fee increase.
Plain City officials said there are about 5,000 vehicles registered in the village. Unfortunately, they said, it is difficult to know how many are in Union County and how many are in Madison County.
Officials initially said the increase would raise about $25,000, but said that without a breakdown of Union County say it is difficult to estimate how much revenue the tax increase will raise.
Local officials said the state recently increased the amount of tax local governments can put on registrations. Cahall said that if the village doesn’t increase the fee to match the increased cap, another entity will and local drivers will still pay more money. He said he understands that residents recently passed an income tax to help fund capital improvements in the village, and this is a way to make those dollars go further.
“This is an option that has been available to the village and they are attempting to take advantage of that now,” Cahall said.
He added, “village council has not made a final decision yet.”
Council is expected to make a final decision at the Sept. 10 meeting.
While Jerome Township officials are discussing the increase, no legislation has been introduced yet.
“But we would like to get this done by the end of the year if we can,” Rhodes said.
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