Wheel tax: Milwaukee County Board votes in favor of new $30 vehicle registration fee

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MILWAUKEE COUNTY — The Milwaukee County Board adopted on Monday, November 7th an amendment that would create a new $30 vehicle registration fee for county residents.

The idea of a new wheel tax was brought up by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele who proposed a $60 vehicle registration fee be included as part of the county’s 2017 budget plan. Abele said the vehicle registration fee would help pay for items like road maintenance and repairs. Unlike a sales tax increase, no additional state approval is required for Milwaukee County to implement a vehicle registration fee of this kind.

All motor vehicle owners pay a $75 state vehicle registration. City of Milwaukee residents currently pay a $20 wheel tax of their own. If you factor in this amended $30 fee, folks in the city will pay $125 a year just to operate their cars.

Public hearing on 2017 Milwaukee County budget

Public hearing on 2017 Milwaukee County budget

Also on Monday, the County Board adopted an amendment calling for the Wisconsin Legislature to give them the flexibility to assess the vehicle registration fee based on the age and value of a vehicle. In other words, people with newer and more expensive vehicles would pay a greater tax than those with older and less expensive vehicles.

The Milwaukee County Board passed the 2017 Milwaukee County budget Monday by a vote of 11-7, according to a statement from Board Chairman Theo Lipscomb.

The amended budget now goes to County Executive Abele for his signature.

Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates developing story.


  • Where is the rest of the county money going? Clearly the county is spending way too much elsewhere.

    This is getting crazy. lets just force everyone to leave Milwaukee County because we are imposing such over the top fees and service charges.

  • Observer

    Need to look into all of those “temporary” plates, along with the flood of plates from Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, etc. that are on cars in the County.

    • Get Real

      What is there to look into? It is a “loophole” to get around the corrupt system.
      I want to know where Chris Abele registers his cars! Isn’t he from Hartland?
      If your car is NOT registered in Milwaukee county you can also get around the emissions.

  • Get Real

    When is Milwaukee county going to end the Miller Park Stadium tax?
    What tax is paying for that stupid trolley Milwaukee doesn’t need?
    How can ONE county make their own registration fee?
    What does Milwaukee county do with all their court cost fees and money from tickets?
    There ought to be another way to CUT costs and fix roads without more fees.
    What “CHOICE” do the honest hard working people of Milwaukee have if they raised the fee to $1000?
    I am sick of paying high taxes and fees for nothing and funding the poor and criminals in Milwaukee mostly from Chicago. And we all know how wonderful life is in that city.

    • FDR

      “poor and criminals” are the same thing??

      I find these comments interesting…just a guess, but I’m thinking most of the people commenting, voted for Chris Abele….

  • confused

    So ridership is down but rather then combine routes and charge more for those who USE the bus, tax those who cannot or do not. People who work multiple shifts at multiple jobs need a car, as you cannot depend on bus schedules/weather to get you where you need to go on time. People with kids in sports/clubs need a car as they are at multiple schools and with maybe 10 minutes to drop one kid off and scoop up another. With kids sports/band gear, bus is not practical. If you have a large family, grocery shopping is not practical by bus either. Why not CHARGE the riders? One less bag of family chips, a pack of smokes, case of soda or beer per month for them. One less session at the tanning salon. One less hair do/cut. Working people already cut out these things. What’s left to cut?

  • Crazy John Hates Milwaukee County

    Another reason why I am leaving this crime, tax infested rat hole county!!! Back to the Rocky Mountains 72 days left!!!

  • Simon

    Stadium tax, new arena tax, wheel tax, high real estate taxes, water bills. Does anyone seriously want to live in the democratic controlled entitlement state. At least the governor put the leash on schools for overspending on the taxpayers back and forced them to control their budgets. More of the same.

  • Mayor McTrolley

    Just less I can hand out in donations. Can we demand a yearly audit to see where each penny is being spent? My supervisor was too cowardly to respond to my e-mail about how he was going to vote.

  • Nope

    Take away more money from us, for roads that they barely maintained and rework 2-3 times. Just another reason to leave Milwaukee. Minimum wage should not increase if skilled people already making over $15 wont get increases as a result.

  • Brian Hintz

    Holy h#ll I hate Milwaukee! Can’t wait to tell my sons who saved their money to buy a used car. This bending over is really starting to hurt.

  • Metal Maniac

    Milwaukee county board meeting 2050:

    “well since we blew the budget lets just add another wheel tax”

    “That is a capital idea, what will it be now?”

    “$50,000 a car a year”

    “That seems fair”

    “I’m so glad we figured out we can keep charging people under this random tax”

  • Simon says

    Just get rid of the county board all together. Another way is to annex the whole city of Milwaukee into all the suburbs and get rid of the common council as well. Why not, the suburban folks are paying for the Democratic entitlement machine’s programs anyways.

  • Deborah Lipsitz

    This is the sort of policy or decision that caused this VERY liberal voter to bolt from the Democratic Party. A millionaire who believes the rules and laws do not apply to him (at least not until he becomes interested in being a career politician), who hasn’t paid ANY income taxes in well over a decade now, and who can reasonably be assumed to not be a regular rider on MCTS buses, just voted to increase my registration fees by 40% to pay for a bus service that is completely inaccessible to me for several reasons, all centering around the fact that I am disabled and confined to a wheelchair. I have a couple of hundred neighbors within one tenth of a mile who are either seniors, disabled, or both, none of who can use MCTS due to it being inaccessible and as far from practical as possible.

    I also note with disdain that Mr Abele has proposed an end to free bus service for qualified low income disabled and seniors to help pay for the increasingly mismanaged MCTS system, much of the losses stemming from the bizarre bureaucracy just to be approved for the GO Pass, which is difficult to get in the first place, and most cannot use anyway due to multiple accessibility issues.

    But I would very much like to thank the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors for this vote BEFORE I myself voted. I look forward to seeing them replaced in this and future elections, and forced back into the private sector where their management skills only effect their employees and shareholders, and not everyone else.

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