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Published July 29, 2013, 09:27 PM

Clay County approves wheelage tax

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Clay County commissioners tonight installed a wheelage tax; a $10 fee tacked on to your tabs put towards local road projects. This is the first year all Minnesota counties have been able to opt into the new tax.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Clay County commissioners tonight installed a wheelage tax; a $10 fee tacked on to your tabs put towards local road projects. This is the first year all Minnesota counties have been able to opt into the new tax.

We've heard complaint after complaint about how these Minnesota roads should be better. Now, with this new wheelage tax, they might be. In just Clay County the new fee could rake in an extra $460,000 each year.

When Donna Gullick drives up to the DMV, he already knows just how much she'll be paying out of pocket. Pump up that price even more and you'd think customers might complain.

But it's quite the opposite because of all the bumps, the pot holes and much needed road repair in Clay County. These drivers seem pleasantly surprised.

Before the so-called wheelage tax, counties received only a $1.25 for each licensed vehicle. After the fee, 87 counties in Minnesota have the option of implementing the tax and pulling in extra funds. Clay County Engineer David Overbo, says it wasn't an easy decision.

David Overbo - Clay County Engineer: "They don't like to raise taxes. I think the big swing was the fact that we're taking a look at sharing this with some other communities in smaller areas that weren't able to enact this tax"

If all counties in Minnesota opted in, about $46.8 million could be pulled out of the deal. So, far over half of the counties in state have said yes to the new wheelage tax.

Ryan Hagen - Driver: "Ten dollars, I guess, it's not a big price to pay if we get better roads, more improvements."

So far we know Polk County has also opted into the tax. Ottertail County has decided against it this year.

Certain vehicles are not included in the tax like motorcycles, mopeds and trailers. The new wheelage tax will take effect January 1st.

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