Families living in the city of Wausau may soon have to pay more to have a car. The money will be going to help balance the city’s budget.
Wausau City Council President Jim Rosenberg says an increase in health insurance costs for city workers is what is driving the proposed $10 wheel tax.
"When we look at large departments like public works, where we plow the snow, where we fix the streets, where we do construction," says Rosenberg, "it makes sense to try to recover some of that from the service that's being provided to motorists."
Rosenberg says he feels the tax is a better way of sharing the financial burden on the city. This is because only property owners in the city pay property taxes, whereas others, such as renters do not.
"When you put it all on property taxes," says Rosenberg, "it spreads the burden differently than if you have user fees that are associated with certain activities."
He says a recent survey shows people in Wausau would rather pay fees than have higher taxes. He says the $10 fee will keep property taxes from being raised even higher. Right now the property tax increase is less than three percent.
If it passes, Wausau will become the third city in the state to have a wheel tax. The others are Sheboygan and Beloit.
A public meeting on the issue is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 21 at City Hall.