$5 ‘fee for local use’ paying off in Centre

When the Centre County commissioners approved levying a “fee for local use” — that is, $5 additional on vehicle registrations in Centre — there was opposition.

In Clinton County, the proposal was ultimately defeated because of public opposition.

Why add additional cost to already costly vehicle registration fees?

On top of vehicle insurance costs. On top of high gasoline prices. On top of maintenance and repair expenses.

We’re not here to favor such a fee in Clinton County.

And comparing Centre and Clinton is like comparing apples to oranges in many respects, partly (in this case) because Centre government owns much more infrastructure than Clinton, has a population four times the size of Clinton … and a road system to go with it.

After all, a majority of Clinton County is state-owned forest land.

Not so in Centre, home of Penn State University, one of the largest colleges in the U.S.

That said, we find it worth mentioning that since the fee inception in 2017, Centre commissioners have collected $785,561, spent $550,454 and — here’s the point — they have leveraged $2 million in state funding with another $235,107 yet to leverage.

So … roughly … for every $1 spent by Centre from the $5 vehicle registration fee, it (so far) has received $3 in return.

“I want to remind everyone that 100 percent of the fee for local use funding goes to road projects. There’s no overhead, there’s no administration, no one is raking anything off,” Centre Commissioner Mark Higgins told The Express.

Motorists and businesspeople can draw their own conclusions, of course.

But that’s a great return on the investment.

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