Dayton may increase permissive tax on motor vehicle registrations

If passed, the $5 increase would put the city of Dayton at the maximum level, along with almost 20 other local jurisdictions

The city of Dayton is considering increasing its permissive tax on motor vehicle registrations, to generate additional revenue for road and infrastructure improvements.

The Dayton City Commission recently had the first reading of an ordinance that would add a new $5 permissive tax.

Municipalities in Ohio are allowed to approve up to half a dozen $5 levies — they cannot charge more than $30 per vehicle registration per year, says the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

Dayton’s current permissive tax rate is $25, meaning if this proposal is approved, it would max out the Gem City’s permissive tax allowance.

The new $5 permissive tax would be paid by people who register vehicles with the Ohio Bureau of Vehicles within the city of Dayton. The new ordinance would take effect Jan. 1, 2025.

The ordinance “will increase the tax by $5 — it’s not a big money burden on an individual, but it is significant for continuation of investment in our roadways,” said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein.

Under Ohio Revised Code, funds generated by a local motor vehicle license tax can only be used to plan, construct, improve, maintain and repair public roads, streets and highways or maintain or repair bridges and viaducts.

Dickstein said the city’s permissive tax generates hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

Other municipalities across the region and state have upped their permissive tax rates in recently years. Urbana approved a new $5 vehicle registration permissive tax in 2019. Springboro approved a new $5 permissive tax in 2022, to raise its total to the maximum $30.

According to the Ohio Taxing District Code Book for 2024, 10 of the 29 cities, townships and villages in Montgomery County are already at the $30 maximum for permissive tax — Brookville, Englewood, Germantown, German Twp., Harrison Twp., Jefferson Twp., Oakwood, Riverside, Union and West Carrollton. All other jurisdictions in the county are at $20 or $25.

In Warren County, Springboro, Franklin and Carlisle are at $30, as are four of the 11 townships. Every jurisdiction in Greene County is between $15 and $25. Miami County is also at $15 to $25, except for Piqua ($30).

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