Marathon County Wheel Tax Update & Invitation for Feedback

Written by Brad Karger


What kind of fiscal conservative are you?

  • Tax & Spend?
  • Borrow & Spend?

Sure, there are other options — like cutting programs and services and deferring maintenance — but the two options most in play are:

  1. Extending the $25 County Vehicle Registration Fee (i.e., wheel tax), and
  2. Borrowing to fund half the cost of annual highway and bridge reconstruction.

We’re planning a public hearing to collect input from residents about their preferences for funding road and bridge reconstruction. It looks like August 30, 2017, will be the day; however, the time and place have not yet been established. Please check the county’s website for updates.

If you’re interested in being heard on whether the $25 wheel tax should be extended or allowed to sunset, the upcoming public hearing is your opportunity.


To better prepare you, a team of county officials and I have prepared a helpful Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document about the Marathon County Vehicle Registration Fee.

Reading these FAQs will help you understand:

  • How the wheel tax works
  • How much the current fee raises
  • What vehicles would be exempt
  • What the funds from an increase would be used for

In addition, this FAQ document will help you better understand the wheel tax in the context of the county’s financial situation.

We can all have our own opinion, but the community dialogue will be much more productive if we share a common set of facts.

If you have an opinion, but are not the public hearing type, you can always contact your County Board Supervisor and express your opinion. If you’re not sure who the County Board Supervisor who represents your district is, you can call the County Clerk’s office at 715-261-1500 and they will help you identify your supervisor. Or you can find a handy map and search tools (including contact information) on the county’s Board Supervisors website page here.

The wheel tax extension is an important decision that will shape our collective future for years to come.  You are invited to weigh in.

We’re hoping to hear from YOU!


Brad Karger - Marathon County AdministratorBrad Karger
Marathon County Administrator

In his Administrator role, Brad Karger leads an organization with 700+ employees and an annual budget of more than $170 million. Brad has been in leadership positions with Marathon County for the past 29 years. He is known statewide for generating innovative ideas and solutions to problems, openness and transparency, and a commitment to community service that extends well beyond the normal workday. Email Brad Karger

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“Wheel Tax” added to feature image IMG_3181 © Skip Barber  |  03.31.12  |  CC BY 2.0

Tax image © Phillip Ingham  | 01.04.07  |  CC BY 2.0