GREENSBORO, NC - Drivers across the Triad might experience some sticker shock when they renew their vehicle registration this year.
Greensboro resident Catherine Vample is already feeling it.
Vample recently received her tax bill and noticed the once $10 city fee had tripled to $30.
“When did this occur? Because I've never seen this before,” she said. “My taxes are already, just for this vehicle, around $165, which $30 makes a big difference.”
Vample says neither the Guilford County tax department nor the city of Greensboro would give her any answers so she called 2 Wants 2 Know.
“I mean; I'm not trying to not pay my taxes. I want to pay my taxes. But that additional $30, I need more of an explanation, she said.
2 Wants 2 Know has found out the change is a result of a state statute aimed at improving roads.
The law gives cities across North Carolina the choice to raise their vehicle tax up to $30.
As a result, Greensboro increased its vehicle tax from $10 to the maximum allowed.
The change went into effect in the summer of 2016 but many people won't feel the sticker shock until they renew their registrations this year.
“Bringing in the increased fee will result in about $4 million annually,” said Dale Wyrick, the city's director of field operations. He says the money will help Greensboro fix more than 40 extra lane miles of road a year.
“About 43 percent of our streets in Greensboro need resurfacing or significant patching. That's almost half. As you drive around Greensboro, ride quality is not what it should be. Bumpy roads, potholes,” Wyrick explained.
Vample says she hopes the money isn't just used to focus on the downtown area because neighborhoods like hers need a lot of road work, too.
“I guess I'll go ahead and pay it now,” she said.
Other Triad cities like High Point also took advantage of the change in the state statute.
Instead of $5, drivers will now have to pay $20 in city vehicle tax.
Meanwhile, other cities like Winston-Salem decided not to increase the vehicle tax on residents.
The charge will remain at $15, at least for now, in Winston-Salem.
Click here for a map of all the streets Greensboro expects to re-pave this year with money from the increased vehicle tax. The marked areas, according to Wyrick, add up to about 70 lane miles. Last year, there were only 25 lane miles of road improvements.
City officials expect work to begin sometime in the spring.
The vehicle tax in the city of Greensboro hadn't changed since 1991.
Because of changes in the last year, the budget for road resurfacing now goes from about $2 million a year to $8 million -- $4 million of that is from the tax increase. An additional $2 million will be from new bonds voters approved in November.
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