SAINT PAUL, Minn. - There's a drive to improve roads in Ramsey County, but motorists who live there, consider yourself warned:
It'll cost you the equivalent of a couple of fast food value meals.
Ramsey County Board of Commissioners adopted a $10 per vehicle wheelage tax Tuesday that will raise approximately $3.8 million per year, and allow the county to begin to chip away at $26 million in deferred road projects.
The County says it operates and maintains 295 miles of County Roads and County State Aid Highways that are critical to the local and regional economy. Those roads provide safe convenient transportation options for Ramsey County citizens.
The network includes 91 bridges, 325 traffic signals, more than 30,000 signs, more than 9,000 drainage structures and extensive water resource treatment systems.
Officials maintain the wheelage tax is necessary because state transportation funding has not kept pace with the maintenance needs of the system. Ramsey County Public Works has identified 58 miles of roadway that need to be replaced or rehabbed, representing $26 million in deferred maintenance.
A wheelage tax is a user fee applied as a surcharge to license registration fees collected when vehicle tabs are issued or renewed. All proceeds from a wheelage tax imposed at the local level go directly into transportation needs within the area the tax is collected.
Currently Anoka, Washington, Dakota, Scott and Carver Counties collect a wheelage tax. Hennepin County is also scheduled to vote on a wheelage tax Tuesday.
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