Chesterfield weighs fee hike for drivers - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Chesterfield weighs fee hike for drivers

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Chesterfield drivers could end up paying more money to register their vehicles each year. County leaders say increasing registration fees may be the solution to bringing in millions of dollars for roads. The county is also scrambling to come up with extra revenue to improve schools.

We all need and use our roads, so why not charge everyone a little more in order to maintain them? That's the message from Chesterfield leaders who are now pitching that plan to elected officials.

"[There are] portions of our roads where curves can be straightened out and congestion can be relieved," said budget director Allan Carmody.

One idea to make that happen is increase the Chesterfield drivers' vehicle registration fee from $20 to $30 a year. Chesterfield neighbors are just learning of the plan.

"It's not too much to me but other people it might be," said Arbin Ross who voiced opposition.

Carmody says increasing fees would bring in $3.5 million a year with the possibility of the state offering a match - totaling $7 million for roads.

Also at issue is how to fund improvements for area schools.

"We had a meals tax proposal which the voters did not support," Carmody said.

The Chesterfield Education Association has an idea - raise property taxes by 3 cents. President Don Wilms compares it to costs people spend everyday on a cup of coffee or pizza.

"What price would you put on a child?" he asked.

"My husband pays for that so I'll be fine with it…our children are our future," said resident Mary Brubaker.

Carmody says the county has not made a recommendation on that yet. But the Board of Supervisors will have to decide soon. The deadline to begin advertising a property tax increase is just weeks away.

"Additional dollars would be necessary," Carmody added.

That's not only to improve classrooms but also the roads students travel on to get there.

The vehicle registration increase is just a proposal for now. There will be a public hearing on the matter March 26 before the Board votes on the issue April 9.

According to state guidelines, localities can charge -- up to $38 for vehicle registration.

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