New Annual Vehicle Registration Fee begins June 2019

The City of Ridgefield is joining the neighboring cities of Battle Ground, Washougal, Longview, Kelso, Kalama, and Vancouver in adopting a state-authorized $20 annual registration fee for road maintenance.

Revenues collected from this fee will go directly to the city’s street maintenance fund. Making it possible to double the investment to maintain more of our neighborhood streets and do so before they’re in need of costly repairs.

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Why do we need an additional fee?

After more than quadrupling its investment in road maintenance in the past five years, the city still faces a $10 million deficit for street maintenance. Adopting an annual $20 vehicle registration fee will not only allow us to expand maintenance throughout our neighborhoods but enable us to address pavement deterioration earlier than scheduled for streets more than ten years old. Saving taxpayers an estimated 71% in projected road repair expenses over the next five years.

Why can’t fees on new construction pay for it?

New development pays directly and through fees to build new roads. The City Council has increased those fees on developers by 25% just this year. However, new development dollars cannot legally be used to maintain existing streets. The State says that developers can pay to build streets, but we all pay to take care of the streets we drive on once they’re there.

When does the increase take effect? Does it affect all vehicles?

The $20 registration fee affects all vehicles with the exception of those isted below and is in addition to state-regulated vehicle fees. This additional fee will take effect June of 2019.

VEHICLES NOT AFFECTED BY THE INCREASE:

  • All farm vehicles
  • Campers
  • Off-road vehicles
  • Snowmobiles
  • Mopeds
  • Personal use trailers with a single axle, less than 2,000lb. scale weight
  • Trailers used exclusively for hauling logs
  • Combination trailers
  • Horseless carriage, collector, or restored-plate vehicles
  • Converter gear
  • Government vehicles
  • Private school vehicles
  • Vehicles properly registered to disabled American veterans

Why is this important?

Scheduled maintenance extends the life of our streets by 50% and costs less than expensive repairs needed without it. The cost of reconstructing unmaintained roads is 15 times the amount of regular maintenance. By adding a vehicle registration fee, we save our resources and keep our streets drivable and safe.

When will maintenance begin?

The city will begin the enhanced road repair work in 2019. We’ll update residents on maintenance schedules for their neighborhood.