Morrisville, Cary, Apex consider increasing vehicle fee on car registrations

In the case of the pothole, time does not heal the wounded road.

Though long removed from the snowy winter, Cary drivers still feel the impact of when the plows and salt dug into the pavement.

"You hit an average pothole and you don't even think about it, but I looked out at my rearview mirror and I see my bumper on the side," Jerry Booker, a Cary resident, recalled to ABC11. "It popped off, but fortunately I was able to put it back on myself."

So no car repair bill for Booker, but there will be a road repair bill for Town Government - and taxpayers.

According to its recommended budget for Fiscal Year 2019, the Town of Cary is requesting more than $7 million for road repairs and is proposing doubling the vehicle fee on car registrations from $15 to $30.

Town administrators sent ABC11 a "Frequently Asked Questions" form about the proposal, which noted "Funding for maintenance will need to increase annually to account for price escalation in construction costs, and the addition of new town streets to our system...We know that Cary's past growth in the 80s and 90s occurred at a very rapid pace and a significant amount of remarkable infrastructure was built during that time frame. The infrastructure built at that time is now showing signs of age and deterioration and attention to maintenance is due. Maintenance of our aging infrastructure is a priority for Cary."

Like Cary, the Town of Morrisville is considering a similar proposal that would also raise its vehicle fee from $15 to $30.

Martha Paige, Morrisville's Town Manager, tells ABC11 this proposal is by far the cheaper option for taxpayers because the longer a road deteriorates the more expensive it is to fix.

"We're trying to be proactive," Paige says. "We're trying to represent the true reason why we are requesting that money. It's to fix our roads. It's not just to put more money in our general fund. It is to take care of our road needs."

Apex is also considering raising the vehicle fee. All three Town Councils in their respective municipalities will vote on the proposals in the coming weeks.

The City of Raleigh charges $30 for its vehicle fee.
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