This summer, the Common Council passed an ordinance that imposes a $20 municipal motor vehicle registration fee on every Wisconsin-registered vehicle kept in Milwaukee.The money collected from this fee is deposited in a transportation vehicle fund and this fund is designated specifically for streets, alleys, bridges, traffic lights and road-related repairs. The fee applies primarily to average family vehicles like cars, SUVs, pick-up trucks and minivans.
If the MVR fee hadn’t been imposed, the alternative source of funds to help pay for necessary roadwork would have been property tax increases. Ald. Hamilton voted for the MVR fee because it is fair. The MVR fee shifts the cost of surface transportation to the people who use it—car owners who make use of the roads become the ones helping to pay for their maintenance rather than homeowners.
“The condition of our roads in Milwaukee is a serious problem. To support the repairs and maintenance of this infrastructure, the 'wheel tax' is a rational way to draw revenue from those who use the infrastructure. We cannot continue to pile on property taxes for every financial need of the city. This is a solution that makes sense,” Ald. Hamilton said.
The fee is only required once a year as part of your regular car registration renewal. You currently pay $75 to the state; now, the MVR fee will be collected at the same time, increasing your once a year registration charge to $95.