Noblesville OKs new vehicle taxes to chip away at Pleasant Street extension costs

Noblesville residents will pay an additional $25 to $40 for their vehicle registration starting next year to help fund a portion of the city’s planned Pleasant Street expansion project.

The Noblesville City Council approved motor vehicle excise and wheel taxes Tuesday to generate approximately $1.8 million in annual revenue starting next year to start chipping away at the estimated $113 million cost of the city’s planned improvements to the east-west Pleasant Street corridor. Based on 2019 registration data, the city expects Noblesville residents’ roughly 74,000 vehicles to generate an estimated $30 million over the road’s 20-year funding structure.

“I think it’s time to get the shovel in the ground,” council member Brian Ayer said. “Let’s get this road built.”

Though several members said they didn’t enjoy enacting a new tax and one member of the public suggested Pleasant Street be turned into a toll road, the council unanimously voted in favor of the measures. The city’s new fees will essentially charge $25 for passenger vehicle and $40 for commercial vehicle registration starting Jan. 1.

Council member Greg O’Connor said funding Pleasant Street’s expansion is necessary to accommodate the city’s growth, and a wheel tax is a fair way to do it.

“We’ve all seen the cost of construction, and it continues to escalate,” O’Connor said. “I don’t think we have a choice. I think we need to move forward with this. It’s just a piece of the financing puzzle. This isn’t the end of the road.”

Matt Light, Noblesville’s deputy mayor, said he anticipates bringing a 20-year bond before the council in the coming months to further address that project’s overall price tag.

Noblesville is not the first Hamilton County community to enact a wheel tax under the powers granted by the Indiana General Assembly to counties 40 years ago and expanded to cities in 2016. The city of Fishers enacted its own $25 wheel tax in 2018 and it is now joined by 11 other cities in the state.

The city is still solidifying the actual route and costs of reconstructing Pleasant Street west of State Road 37 to direct traffic along a new bypass over the White River. Current plans include two new bridges and a series of new roundabouts along its path.

Construction is expected to start sometime in 2023.

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7 thoughts on “Noblesville OKs new vehicle taxes to chip away at Pleasant Street extension costs

  1. Wow… I think the big story here is the mechanics of a city doing a vehicle tax. I did not know an Indiana city could do that.

    I assume the state law must allow this? I assume that the state is going to collect the tax at vehicle registration time and hand it to Noblesville? I also assume that if you have a Noblesville mailing address, but don’t actually live inside the boundaries of the city that you don’t pay the tax?

    1. From story: Noblesville is not the first Hamilton County community to enact a wheel tax under the powers granted by the Indiana General Assembly to counties 40 years ago and expanded to cities in 2016. The city of Fishers enacted its own $25 wheel tax in 2018 and it is now joined by 11 other cities in the state.

    2. With Fishers having done it and Noblesville following, I imagine all the cities in the state — especially in Hamilton county — will do the money grab as well. With assessed values jumping ridiculously this past year and expected to increase, you’d think an extra tax or tax increase wouldn’t be needed…..

  2. Tax, Tax, Tax – just take more, elected officials. The county growth rate has been among the fastest in the state for years, but the incremental money that brings in is never enough for our officials. Income tax, property tax, sin tax, gas tax, food tax, registration tax, hospitality tax, wheel tax… what? We haven’t taken all of your money yet? We’ll create a tax for that. The insatiable appetite of taking, using, and spending other people’s money… When we run out of money to take, they’ll have to invest in a money printer like our federal government… because we know they can’t consider planning, saving, and THEN spending…

    1. Perhaps the manner in which the municipalities in the county develop, which requires most everyone to drive great distances to get to all the places they want and need to go is not sustainable.

  3. So disappointed in the Noblesville City Council. This tax like so many other temporary taxes will not end. Time to vote them out of office.

  4. How about no taxes? Then how would the infrastructure that everyone expects and demands be built.

    The alternative is not to improve Pleasant Street or not do so until sufficient revenue can be obtained from current taxes. Tolling the facility is another user-fee based option.

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