Franklin latest local city to pursue higher license plate tax

Motorists who live in Franklin can expect to see their license plate taxes go up starting Jan. 1.

City Council is scheduled to approve a $5 license plate hike at tonight’s meeting to help add more revenues for street improvements.

Council introduced the proposed tax increase at its meeting on April 4.

Ohio law allows municipalities and counties to add permissive taxes onto the cost of license plates when they are issued or renewed. Those revenues are designated for street improvements.

Ohio law allows for up to 11 separate $5 license plate taxes that can be enacted by separate overlapping taxing jurisdictions, such as Warren County.

A municipality is permitted to enact a total of six $5 license plate taxes. Franklin motorists currently pay five such separate taxes or $25 total on top of their annual license plate renewal fees.

Approval of the tax that is pending before council would enable the city to reach the sixth separate tax or $30 cap, according to City Manager Jonathan Westendorf.

“We saw another jurisdiction do this and we wanted to make sure our money stays in Franklin,” he said.

Westendorf said if the city does not enact this tax, another overlapping jurisdiction could now or later claim those fees and tax Franklin residents without any of those revenues being used in the city.

Springboro increased its permissive taxes in January and is now at the $30 cap. That $5 increase will go into effect on Jan. 1. West Carrollton also decided recently to add the extra $5 fee.

Last year, the Ohio Department of Public Safety/Bureau of Motor Vehicles distributed just more than $245 million in permissive tax revenue to local taxing districts and counties, according to documents on the ODPS website.

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