Roads, bridges vital, and must be funded

Martin County is considering ways to generate some more revenue to pay for road and bridge maintenance. County leaders are considering several options, wondering which way to go.

There is the “wheelage tax” option of $10 to $20 per vehicle tax for trucks and autos registered in Martin County. Then there is a possible local option sales tax. And, finally, the county could simply sell bonds and pay them off over time with property tax revenue.

The wheelage tax does not generate a lot of money. The local option sales tax would add to an already high sales tax in Minnesota, plus Fairmont’s added local option sales tax for recreational projects. All of which may have county commissioners leaning toward selling bonds, with the quick influx of cash allowing the county to knock off some backlogged road work.

We believe the county highway department to be well run, with a straightforward goal of providing a level of service residents are accustomed to.

We also believe that quality roads are a tangible asset that taxpayers can utilize and feel good about, as not being a waste of money.

All residents need good roads to get around. Rural residents need them to get to town. Small town residents need them to get to Fairmont. We want quality roads for our schools buses and for our farm economy. They are just a true necessity.

We hope county commissioners will continue to work with the highway department to clarify exact funding needs, and then move forward appropriately to fill those needs.