License plate fee increase will pay for West Carrollton repaving

West Carrollton Civic Center

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West Carrollton Civic Center

West Carrollton is increasing its license plate registration fee for the first time since the 1980s, and funding from the change will initially be earmarked for a project that hasn’t been tackled in more than 20 years.

When the Ohio legislature increased the gas tax for local jurisdictions in 2019, it also authorized an additional $5 fee that cities could place on license plate registrations within their jurisdictions, according to West Carrollton City Manager Brad Townsend.

“The funds can only be used for purposes of planning, constructing, improving, maintaining or repairing public roads and highways,” Townsend told city council members during a recent meeting.

City council recently approved a measure to earmark revenues generated by the $5 fee for the city’s annual paving program —specifically to address repaving the alleys in the old downtown area. The fee is expected to raise about $60,000 a year for West Carrollton.

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“When those are finished, it can be used for general paving,” Townsend said. “The last time the city raised the license plate fee was 1987.”

There are other area cities that have either adopted the additional fee or are considering doing so before the end of the year, he said.

“Hopefully, this will take care of the problems of the alleyways back in the old part of town,” said West Carrollton Mayor Jeff Sanner. “We’re getting quite a few complaints there.”

It has been “well over 20 years” since the city did any kind of repaving of that area “so it’s time,” Townsend said.

Total cost for a license plate fee depends on the vehicle type and where that vehicle is registered. In addition to the $5 registrar fee, the state charges $31 for passenger vehicles and many communities statewide tack on another $5, $10 $15, $20, $25 or $30 per vehicle. In Montgomery, Greene, Miami and Clark counties, many cities and townships add $20 to $30 per vehicle.

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