Pulaski County Council Decides Against Wheel Tax in Split Vote

Pulaski County CourthouseA tax designed to maintain and improve local roads has failed a vote in Pulaski County.

During last night’s Pulaski County Council meeting, board members considered the implementation of a wheel tax. The tax was encouraged as an option by the state in the face of stagnating support for area roadways.

Council member Alex Haschel says the tax would not be overwhelming.

“It doesn’t bother people to pay five dollars a pack for cigarettes. Six,” says Haschel. “And it doesn’t bother them to pay $30 for a case of beer, but these aren’t roads that they’re driving on and it’s costing to get these roads fixed.”

A wheel tax would be paid annually during license plate renewal.

If the maximum tax rate were to be applied, Pulaski County could have raised as much as $495-thousand annually. Revenues would be split between the County government and its various municipalities.

The Pulaski County Commissioners recommended the wheel tax to the Council last week on a 2-1 vote. The Council, however, appeared to be in consensus that Pulaski County displayed better roads that some of its neighboring counties.

Council President Jerry “Jay” Sullivan says he wanted to see the proposal pushed back by a year.

“I just don’t think we need another tax. I think that we can use the money we’ve got in the county highway to keep the roads up,” says Sullivan. “They have in the past, they’ve done it with the money they’ve got and I think they can continue to do it that way.”

Pulaski County was running up against a June 30th deadline to file paperwork if a tax was planned.

The Council voted 3-3, meaning the measure failed. Haschel, Roger Querry, and Mike Tiede voted in favor of the tax.