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New Wheelage and Sales Tax for Olmsted County | News

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New Wheelage and Sales Tax for Olmsted County
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(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Two newly approved taxes will help pay for transportation upgrades needed for the Destination Medical Center expansion.

For those renewing their vehicle tabs anywhere else in Olmsted County, starting next year you'll have to add 10 dollars to your bill as part of the county's new wheelage tax. Combine that with a new retail sales tax and officials expect to raise more than a million dollars to help fix local roads.

Renewing license tabs is a yearly routine for Rick Rozsa, but the sticker that keeps his car legal to drive, "that seems to kind of still be up there as far as price wise," said Rozsa.

Drivers will now have to pay 10 dollars more per vehicle every year. That extra charge applies to all passenger vehicles and while more taxes isn't the best news for many people, Rick can see the silver lining.

"Repairing our roads are important, I think Rochester has expanded quite rapidly and there's definitely some roads that need repair," said Rozsa.

"You might want to refer to it perhaps as a user fee,” said Olmsted County Commissioner Paul Wilson. He also says a quarter percent sales tax on retail has also been passed for next year. Both of these taxes will go towards upgrading the infrastructure.

"This is a rarity that we are able to use the local dollars collected and use it for a local need," said Wilson.

The question of which roads to fix is still under discussion, but county officials say one thing is for sure.

"The maintenance and the overlays are so important to help hold this DMC structure together so we can route people in a safe fashion,” said Wilson.

Even though it'll cost him another 10 bucks, Rick Rozsa says it can have quite an impact in the long run.

"I think it's great, Rochester is growing and expanding in areas and what's good for the city is usually good for individuals," said Rozsa.

Olmsted County officials say the wheelage tax alone could generate 1.2 million dollars a year. Public Works officials say that's enough money to repave up to four miles of road. 

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