Municipalities have increasingly leaned on the measure in recent years to fund road construction projects, offset special assessments or reduce borrowing; 13 of the 16 cities in Wisconsin that employ such a tax have passed it in the last two years, according to a USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin analysis.
A wheel tax is a charge tacked on to $75 annual registrations of vehicles 8,000 pounds or lighter — or most personal vehicles. Commercial vehicles are exempt from paying such taxes under state law. For processing the tax, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation takes a 17-cent cut of each registration, according to the agency’s website.
State guidelines also dictate that wheel taxes must be used strictly for transportation-related projects.