$20 Vehicle Registration Fee or $2500 Assessment?
Call it what you want, a new tax, a pothole fee, or a wheel tax but the intention is to rebuild our streets in a timely manner. Of course there are cries of “tax hell”, that property taxes are too high, and that this will cause people and business to leave the City of Milwaukee. But the truth is, that the current assessment system encourages people and business to move out of the city whereas the new system actual favors business and property owners.
Under the current system property owners pay an assessment equal to 60 percent of the costs of a road reconstruction project that borders their property on top of their property taxes. The average cost of one of these assessments is $2500, but as it is based on the how much of your property fronts the street a larger commercial site could see assessments significantly higher. By implementing the $20 per year vehicle registration fee it will reduce the road improvement assessment to $0, thereby taking a large burden off of property owners.
Is it a perfect solution? No of course not. For example there are many commuters that make user of our streets who will continue to get a free pass. There are large businesses that will get the benefit of our streets but will no longer pay the assessments costs for up keep. But what it does do, is to shift a significant, often unplanned for, burden off of property owners which will allow for our streets to be rebuilt in a timely fashion.