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County board OKs new tax for roads

Published 10:16am Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mower County residents will soon be paying a little more for better roads.

The county board voted 4-1 Tuesday, with Commissioner Tony Bennett voting no, to approve a new $10 wheelage tax, which will be paid when drivers renew licenses. The fee will go to help improve the road and bridge infrastructure. The tax is estimated to bring in $357,000 a year, according to Coordinator Craig Oscarson.

Commissioner Polly Glynn said the added funding is important as many of her constituents call her talking about the roads.

The tax takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.

The legislature approved the tax as an option for counties to fund road and bridge projects. Another tool is a half-cent sales tax, which would bring in more annual revenue, but can only be used on specific projects, according to Oscarson.

Though no plans are certain, Oscarson said the county’s finance committee is looking into the half-cent sales tax.

Bennett voted against the tax and said he doesn’t believe the county should look for new ways to collect revenue. He said the funds collected will be absorbed by the county and cause an immeasurable tax shift.

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