Cost to own vehicle in Milwaukee County may rise

County Executive wants to add $60 wheel tax
Posted at 10:19 PM, Oct 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-03 23:19:13-04
MILWAUKEE COUNTY -- People who own a car and live in Milwaukee County may soon have to pay more out-of-pocket.
It's all part of the proposed county budget for 2017, which County Executive Chris Abele made public on Monday.
The proposal is for a $60 annual vehicle registration fee, for every car registered at a county address.
That would be in addition to the current state vehicle registration fee of $75. Not to mention, all city of Milwaukee residents already pay an additional $20 per car, every year.
"I work hard enough for my money," resident Wayne Christensen said. "I shouldn't have to pay that. I think it's too expensive already when I go to the DMV."
"No way!" adds resident Nicole Jones. "I cannot afford that. There are other things that I can do with that money, like pay tuition, or buy my kids what they need. It's not fair."
Without that extra $60 per car registered in Milwaukee County, Abele said there will have to be bus route cuts, fare increases, and fewer road and bridge repairs. That's why some are in favor of the added charge.
"I notice a lot of potholes," said resident Doug Fritz. "We have to do something."
"If it's going to improve the buses and public transportation, I feel like $60 more might not be that bad," said resident Ariel Green. "But I do realize that's a lot of money for people who are struggling to make ends meet already."
As state and federal funding continues to decline, Abele said the proposed $60 registration fee is the only tool he really has to generate $27 million.
Some county supervisors have already expressed their disapproval of the fee. The board voted against a similar measure six years ago. There will be public hearings on the budget proposal, before a final vote on November 7.