LACKAWANNA COUNTY -- Over the last few years, the number of counties in Pennsylvania to implement per-vehicle registration fees has grown rapidly. Lackawanna County could be next, with a vote coming in about two weeks.
Lackawanna County might be the next county to be hit with a vehicle registration fee. County commissioners will vote on a $5 per-vehicle charge on January 24. The fee has already been implemented in 20 other counties across the state.
This may leave many wondering where exactly the funds go.
"What would happen with this program is that the local county governments would submit to us a list of the bridges or the projects that they would work on if they implemented this fee. Once it is approved, we would have a 50 percent match to the money that they're able to raise from the local county governments," PennDOT official James May explained. "Those moneys will then have to be used for the projects that they listed."
County engineers say this would provide a direct line of payment into roads and bridges that need to be fixed, which could help those projects get done faster.
"It's definitely a means to move things forward, especially with the bridge work. Right now, we've been looking for funding and we suggested to the county that this is a means for funding that without raising taxes," said Gary Cavill, vice president of Greenman Pederson, Inc.
Joseph Grasso of Northeast Title and Tag has seen the implementation of this fee spread rapidly. It deals with state registration fees and has noticed counties adding their own.
If it is approved in Lackawanna County, it could further affect some of the company's other locations
"For our 11 locations, the counties that would be affected would be Schuylkill, Lehigh Valley, Pocono, Stroudsburg, East Stroudsburg, and then Pike County which would be our Honesdale location," Grasso said.
And for one driver, this is yet another fee. He's skeptical about the idea.
"Seems good in theory. There's a lot of construction going on anyway. What about the gas tax? Aren't we seeing that money being taken from us? It just seems like more and more," Jesse Fadarishan said.
If this fee is implemented, those funds would go to both state and local roads.