Small crowd weighs in on proposed Milwaukee County wheel tax

Chris Abele seeks $60 car registration fee
Posted at 1:58 PM, Oct 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-18 14:58:58-04

The Milwaukee County Board's Finance and Audit Committee met Tuesday to hear from the public about County Executive Chris Abele's proposed 2017 budget.

The meeting, held at the MPS Administration Building, only drew about 10 speakers.

But most spoke in opposition to a proposal that would charge Milwaukee County drivers an annual $60 registration fee, known as a wheel tax.

According to Abele, the wheel tax would generate about $27 million in revenue each year to help with the funding of the county's transit system, as well as transportation needs like the repair of roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

The state already charges a vehicle registration fee of $75, and the City of Milwaukee has its own wheel tax of $20.

If county officials adopt the wheel tax as part of the budget, city drivers would be paying a total of $155 each year. Drivers in Milwaukee County would be expected to come up with $135.

Those who oppose the wheel tax proposal argued that they're sick of being hit with new fees and taxes.

"I think $60 is a steep fine against the taxpayers of this county," Scott Slaski said.

  • Fond du Lac Student Accused Of Posting Threatening Message On Snapchat
  • "A $60 wheel tax? That's bologna," said Robert Piotrowski, who also opposes the fee. "You're going to get people to move out of this city. If you put this wheel tax on us, I'll be the first one to move out."

    The finance and audit committee will continue to review and amend the budget proposal in the coming days before eventually voting on it and sending it to the full county board.

    A second meeting for the purpose of public comment is scheduled for Oct. 31 at 6 p.m. at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.