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County will not pursue increase in wheelage tax

The McLeod County Board of Commissioners will not be considering an increase to its wheelage tax, it indicated at a workshop session held Wednesday, July 5, after its regular board meeting.
McLeod County currently has a wheelage tax of $10 per registered vehicle in the county, which generates about $375,000 per year. That money is dedicated to the county’s road and bridge fund.
John Brunkhorst, McLeod County highway engineer, said the county can increase its tax in $1 increments up to $20 per vehicle. It also has the option to levy a local sales tax to help fund roads and bridges, he said.
Brunkhorst passed around a list of needed projects. Included on that list were projects for which no funding was currently available.
Commissioner Doug Krueger was adamant in his opposition to raising the wheelage tax. He said he has received many phone calls from constituents who also are opposed to it.
“Based on the phone calls I’m getting, if I vote for it (an increase) I might as well hand in my resignation with it,” said Krueger, who also called the wheelage tax “a shell game.”
Krueger said he would “sooner vote for an increase in the levy.”
Commissioner Paul Wright said that the tax has generated enough controversy that he felt it “should be left alone.”
For more, see the July 12 print edition of The Chronicle.