By Linda Dillman
After months of deliberation and a recommendation from a citizen action committee, the Madison Township trustees moved forward with adding a $5 permissive motor vehicle tax for 2021.
At their May 12 meeting, the trustees discussed voting on the tax, which was postponed from the April meeting, and were told by Fiscal Officer Laurie Vermeer if action took place after the July 1 deadline, collections would not begin until 2022.
“If we delay it, you’re really pushing it to make the deadline,” said Vermeer. “We started this process in October and we’ve put it off and off, but for a very good reason.”
The tax only applies to vehicle owners living in unincorporated Madison Township and is collected when new license plates are purchased or renewed. The township also collects a gas tax.
“This tax isn’t collected until January,” said Trustee Chairman John Pritchard. “If we wait, we’re risking not collecting until 2022.”
Public Works Superintendent Dave Watkins said the additional $5 motor vehicle tax would annually bring in approximately $80,000 in additional revenue and used for township road work and improvement.
Watkins stated previously he was unsure of gas tax collections for 2020 because of the impact of the coronavirus on the driving public.
“I know that every township is hurting,” said Trustee Michele Reynolds.
The motion to adopt the $5 tax was unanimously approved by the trustees.
In other discussion, Township Administrator Susan Brobst said the township sold another vacant lot under its ownership on Clearwater and there is interest on another lot owned by the township.
“We’re very pleased with our progress,” Brobst said. “We seem to be doing one (lot) a month. We’re moving right along.”