While labor, equipment and material costs rise on an annual basis, the major funding sources for roads and bridges in Allen County haven’t increased in decades. For example: Allen County residents have not seen an increase in permissive license plate fees since its inception in 1968 (50 yrs). Ohio license plate fees haven’t increased since 1988 (30 yrs), the federal gas tax has not increased since 1993 (25 yrs) and the Ohio gas tax hasn’t increased since 2005 (13 yrs).
Realizing the poor condition and need for repairs to our roads and bridges, on June 28, 2018, the Allen County Commissioners agreed to increase the permissive license plate fees for Allen County residents. This permissive license plate fee was increased by $5 to all Allen County residents when license plates are renewed after January, 2019. In addition, county residents outside of Lima or Spencerville will see an additional $5 fee for the same purpose. Residents inside Lima and Spencerville have already been charged this fee for municipal upgrades for years and therefore will not be affected. These increased fees are expected to generate about $740,000 annually and can only be used for road and bridge improvements according to law.