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Title fee to increase July 1

It’s going to cost a little more to buy an automobile in the near future.

Lawrence County Clerk of Courts Michael Patterson said House Bill 2, passed by the Ohio legislature and signed into law by Gov. Ted Strickland, will hike title fees from $5 to $15 beginning July 1.

Patterson said $10 of that $15 fee will stay in the county until a new computer printing system is operational. After that, the county will get to keep $9.25. Patterson said right now, the county gets to keep $2.75 of that $5 fee.

While county officials had no hand in hiking the title fee, they may reap some benefit from it.

Patterson said right now the $2.75 from each title fee collected brings in a little over $100,000 a year.

Commissioner Les Boggs, who was clerk of courts prior to Patterson taking office, estimated the fee hike could bring in approximately $200,000 additional dollars a year.

This money is used to operate the title side of the clerk’s office but in the past monies have been transferred from the clerk’s office to purchase new cruisers for the sheriff’s office and other necessities.