New vehicle fee rolling toward Liberty Twp. residents

Liberty Twp. Trustees recently approved a new $5 annual vehicle fee for residents that will help pay for roadway re-paving and maintenance. The fee, which the first of its kind in township history, will not begin to be collected from residents until after Jan. 1, 2023. (File Photo\Journal-News)

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Liberty Twp. Trustees recently approved a new $5 annual vehicle fee for residents that will help pay for roadway re-paving and maintenance. The fee, which the first of its kind in township history, will not begin to be collected from residents until after Jan. 1, 2023. (File Photo\Journal-News)

Liberty Twp. residents who own vehicles now have an annual fee in their future after trustees recently approved the additional charge to help pay for road repairs.

Liberty Twp. Trustees have unanimously approved a $5 yearly fee on vehicles in the fast-growing Butler County community, which officials there said is outgrowing its road maintenance and repair funds.

“Our local roads continue to grow and the cost to maintain them continues to climb,” Trustee Tom Farrell said.

“We have to have a plan in place – and the money – to make sure that we can take care of the roads long-term and this (fee) will help us get there,” Farrell said.

The trustees’ meeting last week saw no one from the public comment for or against the new fee for a second consecutive meeting.

ExploreLiberty Twp. officials propose first local vehicle tax to maintain roadways

The fee, which is the first of its kind in the history of Liberty Twp., will raise an estimated $186,000 annually to help pay for roadway repairs and maintenance.

The $5 annual per vehicle fee will now be adding to the vehicle license renewal of any vehicle owner starting after Jan. 1, 2023.

Liberty Twp. will not begin receiving the fee revenue until after Jan. 1, 2024.

Township administration officials had previously told trustees about the rising costs of roadway maintenance in the community.

There are 153 miles of roadways in the township and in 2012, the cost of re-paving and maintaining township roads was $304,648 compared $714,925 in 2019, the most recent year cited by officials during their presentation.

None of the $186,000 projected to be raised from collecting the local tax revenue is allowed by state law to go to funding personnel costs in the township’s roads department.

Farrell said he and other trustees did get some messages and a few complaints since the fee was first proposed but any objections faded once the relatively small, individual cost of $5 per year was explained.

“Once they understood what it was, most people backed off,” he said. “We could have done this two years ago but we backed off, especially with the Covid (pandemic). Anything to do with raising taxes I don’t like.”

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