Greensboro City Council votes to increase Motor Vehicle Fee

by Sammy Hanf

Greensboro’s City Council voted 7-2 last night to set the motor vehicle fee at $30, a $20 jump.Council members Tony Wilkins and Sharon Hightower voted against the motion. The added expense will net an additional $3.9 million to fund street resurfacing.

Hightower said she was concerned about the financial pressure fee increases would place on residents of her district.

“I have a lot of constituents who have said they’re very concerned about the fact that vehicle registration is going to be a total of $30 now,” Hightower said. “So it doesn’t seem like a lot when you say it like that but when you factor it into some people’s budget, $30, an extra $20 does matter.”

Council member Mike Barber said that while fee increases are unpopular, the council must do what is necessary to provide for the city’s needs.

“It’s not just anecdotal, it’s not just a few phone calls, a few emails, about the potholes on East Market, West Market, Friendly and other places. It’s not good out there and I’m willing to accept the beating to raise this fee,” Barber said.

Council member Justin Outling said that voting against the increase smacked of political opportunism.An additional $20 million was also added to a bond referendum for road resurfacing at the council’s special meeting earlier that day. The bond package should go before Greensboro voters this fall.

Hightower said she would have liked to see more discussion, taking the bond into account and looking at a $10 fee hike instead.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan said that having the funds at the city’s disposal immediately would be preferable to waiting on the bond money to come through.

View the discussion below beginning with Item 32 (1:16 mark or click Item 32 in scroll bar) :