Marathon Co. board extends wheel tax indefinitely - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Marathon Co. board extends wheel tax indefinitely

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MARATHON COUNTY, Wis. (WAOW) -

The Marathon County board voted to extend the wheel tax indefinitely Wednesday evening. The $25 fee that is added to your yearly license plate renewal was supposed to end November 30.

In one year, the fee will have generated nearly $3 million for the county to be used on infrastructure.

"It will be used for roads and highways only, it hasn't been used for anything else," said Marathon County administrator Brad Karger.

Karger said the only other options would be to borrow money, cut programs or postpone road work.

"You can cut other things, which sounds great until you start to identify what those other things might be," said Karger. "The county board made a wise decision."

Several residents spoke out at the public hearing, but very few people showed up.

"I'm opposed in principal," said Rib Mountain resident Bill Hussong. "Any governing body that passed the law that was going to be temporary and suddenly 10 months later is going to permanent, I'm opposed to that in principal."

Board members debated the decision, but many agreed the wheel tax had to be done.

Karger said it won't be the last time you hear about the wheel tax, and while it may be in place for many years it also could be reevaluated.

"It's going to be reevaluated if and when we get gas tax money, I think that's going to be the next check point," said Karger.

Marathon County leaders said there are four other counties in the state that also have a wheel tax, but Marathon County is the only one in central Wisconsin. They also have the second highest fee in the state.

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