Madison Township residents could pay more at the BMV to help shore up the township's dwindling budget for road repairs.

By law, township trustees can enact a $5 increase on all motor-vehicle registrations under the permissive motor-vehicle license tax.

The state in March 2018 authorized counties, municipalities and townships to impose the additional $5 fee, with the goal of increasing money for road repairs.

Board of trustees Chairman John Pritchard anticipates holding the required two public hearings in the fall.

"At $5, it's not a high-threat tax and amounts to a little over a penny a day," he said. "The extra money would help us repair roads in Blacklick Estates and other areas of the township."

Township residents currently pay $59.50 to renew their car registrations for one year.

In Franklin County, the cost for residents to register a vehicle varies depending on where they live, with permissive, or add-on, taxes ranging from $20 to $25.

The state permits up to 11 $5 levies, but only six can be in effect at any one time in any single-taxing district.

Madison Township has only two available levies and already is using one.

Permissive-tax revenue is to be used by the counties and taxing districts for "planning, constructing, improving, maintaining and repairing public roads, highways, streets, and for the maintaining and repair of bridges and viaducts," according to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles website.

State law does provide a 30-day window to allow for filing a referendum to repeal a fee increase.

If trustees approve the tax, collection could begin July 1, 2020, township administrator Susan Brobst said.

"We have received information that estimated revenue could be about $80,000 per year," she said.

"Until we have the first year of collections, we don't know how close the estimated revenue is."

Trustees have discussed but not acted on several options to increase road funding, including a general-fund levy, which would affect all township residents, even those in Canal Winchester and Groveport; asking residents in the township's unincorporated areas to support a roads and bridges levy; or raising the township's inside millage.

Voters have not been supportive of tax requests for roads, defeating a 3-mill issue in 2002 and a 2.9-mill request in 2005.

Currently, the township receives road funding from four sources, according to township fiscal officer Laurie Vermeer.

They include a 0.6-mill roads and bridges levy and funds related to the gas tax, motor-vehicle licensure tax and permissive motor-vehicle tax.

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