Public hearing held on county-wide wheel tax proposal

A county–wide wheel tax has been proposed. It would be like what many people in Lincoln are paying.

The county says it needs the money for street and bridge repair but not everyone is happy about it.

A public hearing took place on this topic Wednesday night in Waverly. Farming communities are especially vocal about this tax proposal, which comes after a $9 million shortfall in funding for county roads and bridges, that are in desperate need of repairs, especially after the spring flooding.

Some attendees at Wednesday’s hearing say they believe the tax is aimed directly at the AG community.

“With the tax based that is currently proposed, you are going to add $1480 to my taxes because that is 114% increase,” local farmer, Pam Peterson said.

The proposal would impose a $74 tax on each vehicle for everyone in the county, including farmers. Although farming equipment would only be taxed 50% of that, the farming community says that money adds up quick.

County officials say proposing this tax is just a step, and even if it were to pass, it would just be a ‘drop in the bucket.’

“A year ago when infrastructure task force worked on this, as a member of that, we all felt it would be prudent that since the problem seems to be a user based problem, meaning the roads themselves are needing help, that a user based tax would seem to be part of the solution required in order to try to fund this gap,” Waverly Mayor, Mike Werner said.

Mayor Werner also says it’s important for the committee to hear the concerns of the surrounding communities and he hopes to hear solid solutions that the committee hasn’t yet thought of.

Another public hearing will be held in Hickman Thursday night at the community center at 7 p.m.

No word on when this county wheel tax proposal could be voted on.

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