Effective January 1. 2018 the Wheelage Tax per eligible motor vehicle in Rice County will double to $20 following approval today by the Rice County Board of Commissioners.

Commissioner Steve Bauer was the lone Commissioner to oppose the idea of doubling the tax, saying he would be in favor of a smaller increase.

Rice County Highway Engineer Dennis Luebbe told Commissioners without the revenues his department would not be able to do all the things they have done since the current $10 tax was imposed effective January 1, 2014.

He said 50 culverts have been replaced across the county and the ditch spraying program has been paid for because of those funds.

Commissioner Bauer asked, "When is enough, enough" to which Luebbe replied, "there has been no state funding increase in seven years and the need is definitely there."

The increase is estimated to generate $560,000.

Commissioner Galen Malecha moved to pass the resolution and it was seconded by Commissioner Jeff Docken.

Commissioner Docken did say he understood where Commissioner Bauer was coming from but added the revenues have allowed the county to take care of some issues that otherwise would not have been completed.

Rice County Highway Engineer Dennis Luebbe Before County Board of Commissioners- photo by Gordy Kosfeld