Elkhart & St Joseph Counties currently have the most unnecessary taxes can you guess what that tax is? Wheel Tax! This was enacted in order to keep the roads & highways up. Unfortunately, the wheel tax is an unnecessary expense. The Wheel Tax is used for the upkeep of roads and bridges, however, how often do you run over a pothole you didn’t see, or maybe you saw it and avoided it? Clearly, it’s not working. Then, on top of that tax, we have an Excise Tax. Both the Wheel Tax & the Excise Tax, however, must be used for the upkeep of roads, and bridges, but also covers infrastructure in order to include buildings. These two taxes could cost you anywhere from $35 to $70 on top of your vehicle registration fees & Indiana Sales Tax of 7%.

The Indiana General Assembly, in 2017, took it upon themselves to add a new tax beginning in 2022 called the “Transportation Improvement Tax.” which adds an additional $15 to your registration fee (now we’re at $40 to your local county per car), but they can’t seem to fix the roads properly! In fact, the Elkhart County Council Councilman (R-District 1) Doug Graham stated at a local meeting that the Elkhart County Council would be looking at reducing road projects this year due to the cost.

Now let’s figure out what the most recent financials are for Elkhart & St Joseph Counties…

Elkhart County Wheel Tax Fund Information

In Elkhart County, the most recent data (year 2021) shows that Elkhart County collected $396,217.38, they started the year with $4,933.54 in that account and at the end of the 2021, Elkhart County reported an ending balance for Wheel Tax of over $22,000 on Dec 31, 2021. But then you add in the accounts involving roads and you come to a total over $14 MILLION for Elkhart County.

St Joseph County Wheel Tax Fund Information

In St Joseph County, the most recent data (year 2021) shows that St Joseph County collected over $3 MILLION in wheel taxes, started the year with over $302,000 and had an ending balance of over $1,600,000. Again, we then add in the accounts involving roads and we come to over $1.9 MILLION in funds allotted to the highway department in St Joseph County.

We also end up paying at the pump as well. How much do you spend per week? For me, a person in the delivery business, it’s between $100 and $150 per week. Now that’s the equivalent to 31 to 48 gallons per week that I’m using. If a gas tax was NOT charged, this could have bought 290 gallons of fuel at the last year’s price of $3.19/gallon PER YEAR. Seems like overkill doesn’t it?

Now the General Assembly wants to claim to be a hero for providing you with a $125 check once. How about we just keep the old gas tax rate and eliminate the wheel tax & Transportation Improvement Tax!

Vote Gray to save the day, your wallet will thank you!

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Stand With Stephen
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Wakarusa, IN