Local News

March 24, 2014

No change for decade-old wheel tax

Council approves measure 6-1

Taxes Cass County residents pay when they pay their annual vehicle registration fees are set to remain the way they've been for nearly the past decade.

Cass County Council voted 6-1 on Friday to not change its Local Option Highway User Tax.

The tax is collected through annual registration fees for automobiles. It is made up of two taxes — a surtax and a wheel tax.

The county passed the ordinance establishing the tax in September 2005. The amounts it taxes several classes of vehicles has not changed since then.

For passenger vehicles, motorcycles and trucks up to 11,000 pounds, the tax remains at $25. It ranges from $30 to $35 for trucks 11,001 pounds and more. Trailers used with motor vehicles, including farm trailers, will be taxed between $5 and $25. Recreational vehicles remain at $30. Semi-trailers are still $35. The tax is $30 for tractors not used in combination with a semi-trailer. Tractors used in combination with a semi-trailer to form a semi-trailer-and-tractor including a farm semi-trailer-and-tractor will be taxed at $30. Intercity and intracity buses will be $30 and there will be no tax for school and church buses.

Council President George Stebbins said he voted in favor of leaving the tax where it is because it supplements road repair funds.

"I'm not willing to take money from the roads right now," Stebbins said. "If it was a new tax, I wouldn't have voted for it."

Cass County Councilman Brian Reed, who voted against the measure, has never voted in favor of the tax in his nearly two terms on the council.

"I'm just being consistent with my vote," Reed said. "I don't think it's needed, I don't think it's the right thing to do."

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or Follow him: @PharosMAK

Passenger vehicles, motorcycles and trucks up to 11,000 pounds: $25 Trailers, including farm trailers 3,000 to 12,000 pounds: $5 12,001 pounds and more: $25 Recreational vehicles: $30 Semi-trailers, including farm semi-trailers: $35 Tractors not used in combination with a semi-trailer: $30 Tractors used in combination with a semi-trailer to form a semi-trailer-and-tractor, including a farm semi-trailer-and-tractor: $30 Intercity bus: $30 Intracity bus: $30 School and church bus: $0 Source: Cass County Council

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