Wheel Tax Proposal Gains Speed

Wheel Tax Proposal Gains Speed

The Appleton Finance Committee has approved a proposed wheel tax, which would charge car-owners an additional $20 annual fee.
APPLETON, WI. (WFRV-TV) -

Special assessment protests line the streets of Appleton, high dollar figures the city is charging home-owners for street reconstructions. Residents on John St. call the assessments unfair.

        "Everybody uses this road, everybody uses these streets," said one woman at Wednesday night's Finance meeting. "I do not know why just the home owners should be assessed."

Alderperson Joe Martin felt the same way, introducing a wheel-tax proposal aimed at eliminating special assessments. That proposal is on it's way to the full council - after passing through finance 4 to 1.

        "It takes so much relief off of the home owner," says Martin. "The community as a whole stays together now."

The tax would generate roughly $1.7-million annually, replacing the $1.3-million currently gathered from assessments. The extra money would remain in a segregated fund, ensuring it's used for roads.

        "It allows us to in essence build a reserve fund over time," says Alderperson Curt Konetzke. "We can then start catching up on doing some more road reconstruction projects and stay better in tune to the infrastructure."

Home-owners like Jane Marichal - whose facing a 7-thousand-dollar assessment - say it's the fairest way to charge people who use the roads.

        "It does spread it a mile wide and an inch deep, instead of special assessments, which really really hit individual property owners."

But until the resolution passes through council - She'll continue to hold her breath.

        "None of us are spending anything," she says. "We're just waiting."

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