By Amanda Ensinger
Residents will be paying more when they register their vehicles if a local township moves forward with a proposed motor vehicle registration tax. The new tax would apply to all vehicles registered in the unincorporated areas of Franklin Township.
“The trustees recently passed a resolution that starts the process of adding an automotive tax when residents register their vehicles,” said Mark Potts, administrator for the township. “The $5 tax would be an additional fee when vehicles are registered. It would only be for residents who live in the unincorporated areas of Franklin Township.”
The state started allowing townships to impose this tax in early 2020 and Franklin Township is one of the last townships to enact it. Most other townships in the region are already imposing it.
Called the Vehicle Registration Permissive Tax, the $5 tax would help maintain roads in the township. This is another opportunity to give townships access to additional funds to maintain roadways and support local departments.
The township recently held a special public meeting regarding levying the tax and plans to move forward with a resolution this month.
Township officials are also looking at ways to generate revenue in the township, including grants and other financial aid from the state and federal government as a result of lost income from the COVID-19 pandemic.
One area of concern for the township is if residents will pay their property taxes later than expected. Since the township doesn’t have a JEDD or JEDZ, the township is fully dependent on property taxes for their funding. With the June payment of property taxes being potentially delayed, it could impact funding for the township.
“We depend on property taxes and the majority of our funding comes from them,” Potts said. “We need more information about when these taxes will be due and if we can access these funds earlier so we can ensure we have the funds we need to operate.”
In other news, the township recently celebrated the building of a flood wall that should protect parts of the township from excess water.
“The flood wall was put up by the city of Columbus to help with flooding and will protect parts of the township that are close to the wall,” Potts said. “Flooding has been an ongoing issue in the township, including the need to evacuate people from their homes.”
Recently flooding was so bad in the township that first responders had to get boats out to rescue people from their submerged homes.
“We also just had flooding again and the road department had to come in to clean up debris and close roads,” Potts said. “We also had the police department out checking neighborhoods to see if homes were flooded and people needed help.”