Bexar County Commissioners are making it more expensive to own a car.
1200 WOAI's Michael Board reported Commissioners have agreed to increase the annual vehicle registration fee by $10 a year, raising the price of the annual car registration to an average of $73. A final vote on the rate increase is expected next month.
The Legislature in this past session authorized counties to hike the registration fee to pay for local projects, but County Judge Nelson Wolff says the Legislature was the reason why the fee had to be increased.
"The Legislature beats their chest and says we didn't increase taxes, but at the same time, they continue to put additional pressure on local governments," Wolff said.
He says much of the money will be used to do something the Legislature failed to do--to pay for repairing and replacing county roads, especially in southeast Bexar County, which have been damaged by oilfield trucks.
He says new roads have to be built and existing roads have to be widened to accommodate the traffic on rural roads due to the oil boom.
"Its a safety issue, it's an environmental issue with idling trucks and cars," he said. "It's just unfortunate."
Wolff says he understands that these are already tough times for motorists, with gas prices hovering around $3.40 a gallon. But he says there was no other alternative.
"I don't blame them for feeling that way," he said. "It's not much of an increase, but it is an increase, and we have to pay for it in some way."
The higher registration fees will take effect on January 1, 2014.