License plate hike takes effect

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 3, 2003

Now that 2003 has arrived, license plate sticker renewals will cost Ironton residents an additional $5.50.

The total cost for the 2003 tag will be $28.25 compared to $22.75 last year. The increase includes $5 from the city and a .50 cent increase levied by the state.

In June, the Ironton City Council approved an ordinance authorizing the increase to provide additional funds to help maintain the city's roads and transportation systems.

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Based on figures provided to the city by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Ironton has approximately 12,978 licensed vehicles within the city that will generate nearly $65,000 annually.

Mayor Bob Cleary said the funds will only be used for street and roadway maintenance and could allow the city to receive significantly more money each year because the city can apply for state grants that require matching funds.

"We have looked at this for 20 years," Cleary said when the ordinance was originally proposed in May. "People that do not drive will not pay."

The license tag expires each year on the birthday of the person whose name the vehicle is registered under, and each vehicle requires a tag.

Mike Pemberton, street superintendent for the city, said the funds could be used for paving, patching, resurfacing, replacing curbs and upgrading street signs and traffic signals.

"It will not go a long ways towards paving streets, but there are other uses," he said. "Overall, it will help a lot. Every little bit helps."

Pemberton said the funds may primarily be used for street resurfacing because there are several streets in Ironton that have never had asphalt.

"In the past, the city has sometimes gone years at a time without paving," he said. "Even if it paves a block or two a year, the city will still benefit from it. "

The additional funds could also be used to upgrade some traffic signals that have been used since the 1930s and to ensure that all traffic signs meet Ohio Department of Transportation specifications, he said.

The 50-cent increase from the state is collected to reimburse deputy registrars for their expenses in performing driver and vehicle registration services on behalf of the state. Deputy registrars and their employees are not state employees, said Julie Hinds, public information officer for the BMV.

This increase was made possible because the deputy registrars within the state received a satisfaction rating of 90-percent or better in surveys conducted by The Ohio State University.

Of the $28.25 that each tag costs, $3.25 goes to the registrars. The state also implemented a .50 cent increase in July of 2001.