Violet Township officials are considering a $5 increase to the annual auto registration fee levied on all vehicles.

The trustees have scheduled a final hearing May 6 for a resolution to increase the local motor vehicle registration fee by $5.

The hearing will be held as part of the trustees' regular meeting, which is slated for 7:30 p.m. Although the trustees are expected to convene for the meeting, it will be closed to public attendance per Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's stay-at-home order.

The meeting will be broadcast online, however, via a link that will be provided on the township website, violet.oh.us.

Trustees chairman Terry Dunlap said the move would bring the annual license tax levied on all vehicles registered in Violet Township to $10.

Revenue from the tax is used to fund "construction, reconstruction, improvement, maintenance and repair of township roads, bridges and culverts," according to the resolution.

The tax revenue also may be used to pay for the purchase, installation and maintenance of traffic signs, markers, lights and signals, as well as for road construction and maintenance equipment, the resolution states.

"We have a $5 tax now, and we're going to raise it by $5," Dunlap said. "It amounts to about $40,000 a year (in additional revenue), which is a pittance when it comes to fixing roads."

Dunlap said the township needs the additional tax revenue to maximize finances for road construction and maintenance, which, he said, affects the safety of local motorists.

"Forty thousand dollars doesn't even pay for two-tenths of a mile of roadway," he said. "It's a little bit, but it's better than nothing."

Officials said the township has 108 miles of roadway, including 15 miles that are multiple lanes.

The vast majority of the township's roadway construction and maintenance is funded by a 1.5-mill roads levy voters had approved in March 2016.

The levy generates about $770,000 in property-tax revenue that, in addition to road construction and maintenance, goes toward snow and ice removal, street-sign maintenance, culvert replacement and mowing rights of way.

The five-year roads levy will expire in 2021 and the trustees are expected to ask for its renewal either this November or in May 2021.

"We're just going to be asking people to renew what's already there," Dunlap said. "That won't be a tax increase.

"We think we'll be on (the ballot) in November of this year. If it passes, it would go into effect 2022."

The increased license tax, if approved May 6, would go into effect in January 2021.

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