Eau Claire Co. Board approves $30 wheel tax

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EAU CLAIRE COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) -- Eau Claire County Board members voted 20 to 9 in favor of implementing a $30 wheel tax.

The fee will apply to registered vehicles fewer than 8,000 pounds gross weight.

Vehicles such as motorcycles, mopeds, and motor homes would be exempt.

The fee will help raise $2.3 million in revenue for the county highways.

The Eau Claire County Highway Department has said the $30 fee is one of the only ways to pay for needed bridge repairs and around 120 miles of failed highway.

Eau Claire City Council member Kate Beaton spoke at Tuesday's meeting, asking the board to delay a vote.

However, county board members said now was the time to act.

"I think this is a unique tool, in that this tool is accessible in a toolbox of any city or municipality that they can use. So now, to look at this tool and say, 'Okay, how can we share this with other municipalities?' We will always collaborate and work together on our project level. We'll continue to do that. In this case, with state statutes, it makes it very difficult to say, 'Okay, how do we divide this up among people?' I think going forward we'll continue to work with all - the City of Eau Claire, the City of Altoona - everybody present. We'll continue to do that to improve our transportation for everyone in Eau Claire County, for the betterment of transportation," said Eau Claire Co. Highway Commissioner Jon Johnson.

Eau Claire County is the ninth county in the state to put a wheel tax in place, and the second to go as high as $30. Milwaukee County is the other county with a $30 tax.

Chippewa County put a $10 wheel tax in place in 2014.



 
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