Board could vote on Chippewa Co. wheel tax next month

The Eau Claire County Board rejected similar wheel tax proposals in 2007 and 2011.  The 2011 proposal had the proceeds going toward road maintenence and construction.

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- Next month, the Chippewa County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on a proposal to charge a wheel tax for thousands of eligible vehicles.

The proposal came out of a recent discussion in the county's Executive Committee. County Administrator Frank Pascarella says it's part of an effort to find a way to address a deficit in the county's winter maintenance account. If approved, Pascarella says it would likely go into effect on January 1, 2015. He says the county has never had a wheel tax before. The $10 tax would be added to the registration fee for the owner of a car or light truck. Vehicles like motorcycles, trailers, dual-purpose farm vehicles, RVs, and other vehicles that are 8,000 pounds or heavier would be exempt. Pascarella says there are about 59,000 vehicles registered in Chippewa County, and nearly 53,000 of them would be eligible for the tax. The tax is expected to generate more than $580,000 toward the account per year. When asked if this would be a permanent measure, Pascarella said the ordinance would come with a "five-year sunset."

The proposal is set to be discussed in the Executive Committee on August 5 and the Highway Committee on August 7. It could go to the full county board on August 12.


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