If wait allows for support of tax, then it makes sense [UPDATED]Published 4:07am Monday, July 22, 2013 Updated 6:09am Monday, July 22, 2013
If the Otter Tail County Commissioners decided to go ahead this year with a wheelage tax — a $10 tax on vehicle license tabs — considering the county’sroad maintenance needs, they certainly could justify doing so.
The fact that they are going to wait a year to educate county residents on the county’s needs for more road funding and allow for public input makes even more sense.
The fee, which would generate about $4.2 million annually in the county, clearly would go a long way in improving the county’s roads. Considering most county roads are blacktop, road maintenance needs continue to grow. If another funding source isn’t found, commissioners ultimately may have to decide to return some roads to gravel.
That said, tax increases are never popular with residents. Considering the tax also is regressive — the $10 fee applies no matter what the value of the car — commissioners are wise to give it careful consideration before approving.
Implementing the tax makes sense and we support it. However, if waiting a year will mean most county residents can learn about the county’s road needs and ultimately support the tax, then we support the wait even more.