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Martin County Officials Considering Wheel Tax
Updated April 6, 2015 7:14 AM | Filed under: Politics
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(SHOALS) - The Martin County Commissioners plan to go to the county council on Monday night to request once again considering implementing a wheel tax.

Highway Superintendent Leo Padgett says there are so many roads that need repaved, but there are no funds to do the paving.

The county in the past has used Crane timber money to do road improvements, but those funds have decreased.

The county council and commissions met in May 2011 about implementing a wheel tax, but a majority of council members were against the proposal.

There are two routes the county could vote to create a tax for roads.

County motor vehicle excise surtax - the tax would apply to cars, trucks under 11,000 pounds, and motorcycles. The excise surtax can be two to 10 percent of the excise tax or a flat amount of $7.50 to $25 per vehicle. If a flat rate is chosen it must be the same amount on each vehicle.

County wheel tax - taxpayers would pay a tax based on the vehicle, no on the amount of wheels or tires on the vehicle. Included in this tax are buses, recreational vehicles, semi tractors, tractors, trailers, and trucks. Cars, trucks, motorcycles are exempt. The tax rate could be between $5 to $40 per vehicle. The vehicles categories can each have a different rate depending on what county officials choice. The tax can also be based on weight. State vehicles would be exempt - INDOT snow plow trucks; police vehicles, any vehicle subject to the annual excise surtax, and buses owned by religious or non-profit youth organizations.

Officials say the wheel tax would benefit cities and towns.

When and if the county council agrees to pass the wheel tax, they must notify taxpayers of the new tax and pass both types during the same meeting. If the vote is not unanimous, they must vote to pass the wheel tax in two different meetings. If it is not passed before July 1, 2015, the tax cannot be implemented for 2016.

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