A wheel tax proposal is on its way to the Beaver Dam Common Council after receiving the recommendation from all but one Operations Committee member.
“If we do this for one to two years, it could have a huge impact,” committee Chairperson Robert Ballweg said in a phone interview.
A wheel tax would impose a fee on vehicles that weigh 8,000 pounds or less in the city. If approved by the council, the city would then discuss the tax with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The wheel tax would be collected with annual vehilce registration fees. WisDOT would keep an administrative fee of 17 cents per vehicle.
The tax is proposed as a potential new source of revenue for the city, according to Ballweg. If the city were to implement a $20 per vehicle tax, it could generate an estimated $320,000 annually for the city, which could then go toward city street projects like seal coating and reconstructions. He added that the $20 amount is open to change.
According to the city, the tax could apply to 12,000 to 14,000 registered vehicles.
City Council Member Mick Fischer was the sole member who opposed advancing the wheel tax to the council. When contacted by phone, he said that he does not make comments to the media.
Ballweg said it's possible the wheel tax could have a limited lifespan of two years. After that, the council could review it and decide to if it wants to continue taxing.
Currently there are 17 municipalities and five counties that impose a wheel tax in Wisconsin.
Ballweg said that this should be a topic up for debate for the full council.