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Delaware Co. Township Eyes License Renewal Tax To Increase Revenue
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As officials in Washington try to find fixes for the nearly depleted federal highway trust fund, a Delaware County township has its own infrastructure worries. Officials in Liberty Township â€“ which encompasses Powell â€“ might implement a new license plate renewal fee.
Townships are struggling financially says Tom Mitchell chair of Liberty Townshipâ€™s trustees.
â€œAll townships are being squeezed for money. We donâ€™t have a lot of tools at hand to generate economic development,â€ Mitchell says.
That means the township has trouble keeping its roadways repaired.
â€œRoads are a big part of our budget. Our roads are designed to last a certain amount of time and weâ€™re more than double that time. And weâ€™ve got to figure out what to do,â€ Mitchell says.
One idea: add $5 to the cost of each license plate renewal. State law authorizes the addition of a so-called permissive tax. Mitchell says from what he hears, constituents are about evenly divided on the proposal.
â€œSome residents say we have to do something and $5 a car isnâ€™t that big of a deal. Others, theyâ€™re tired of being nickeled and dimed to death,â€ Mitchell says.
The township will hold two public hearings then the three trustees will vote the proposal up or down. If approved, the fee would generate between $75,000 and $100,000 dollars a year. Thatâ€™s not much for road projects but it would buy the township time as it seeks long-term solutions.
If the license plate fee fails to materialize, residents would be asked to raise their taxes by approving a levy in 2016.