Most homeowners off the hook thanks to Green Bay wheel tax

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Green Bay homeowners will no longer face thousands of dollars worth of bills to fix up the roads in front of their homes after the city council voted to enact a wheel tax.

For homeowners like Lisa Sabin-Wilson, the news of implementing a $20 annual vehicle registration fee, known as a wheel tax, is a relief.

She tweeted it's "Fantastic news."

That's because earlier this year, she was facing a $42,656 special assessment from the city to do a complete reconstruction of the road she lives on.

It's been a city ordinance for decades, requiring homeowners to chip in when the city fixes up the roads in front of their property.

In May, after a petition from Sabin-Wilson and other homeowners, the city council delayed the road project for a year.

With Tuesday night's vote to enact a wheel tax, that special assessment is history because the tax is expected to generate $2.1 million every year.

"It's largely going to be targeted, first and foremost, toward elimination of residential property assessment for pavement construction on resurfacing and reconstruct projects," Green Bay Public Works Director Steve Grenier said.

"Absent any other needs, the second largest focus area besides elimination assessment would be increasing program, so getting more roads done," Grenier added.

Grenier says one thing the wheel tax won't be able to do is help those property owners who already paid special assessments.

"If someone paid a property assessment and then sold the home, it's very difficult to find the seller and where they are at now. Morbid as it may sound, if someone paid the assessment and died, how do you square up with that person?"

"We understand no matter what happens someone is always going to be feel short shrifted. There's no way to avoid that," Grenier continued.

Grenier says Public Works will bring a resolution for the city council next month, and if it gets the green light again it will be sent to the Division of Motor Vehicles and State Department of Treasury, and the wheel tax will go into effect on January 1, 2019.

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