Bethlehem Press

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Northampton County-Car registry hike possible

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 by Bernie O’Hare Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

In July, Northampton County killed a proposal to increase vehicle registration fees by $5 in a 6-3 vote. But Hayden Phillips, who opposed this user fee or tax, has reversed course.

At council’s Nov.17 meeting, he introduced a bill that will tack $5 onto the $36 vehicle registration fee already being collected by the state. He predicted this will generate $1.4 million in annual revenue, which can be applied to the $780,000 the county pays every year for bridge maintenance. The rest of the money can be returned to taxpayers with a slight tax cut when council adopts its budget at the end of the year.

John Szazdi, who owns three vehicles, called the proposed fee hike a “money grab.”

“These hurt the poorest the hardest,” argued Pen Argyl’s Jeff Fox in July. But Council President John Cusick counters that roads and bridges have been a core government function since the days of the Roman Empire.