BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) — It’s no secret that traffic jams on the roads of Brazos County are hard on drivers. A potential solution to the problem could cost less than 0.84 cents per month.
The Brazos County Regional Mobility Authority recommends a $10 fee to help fund transportation projects in the county.
The fee would be added to the annual vehicle registration of those with vehicles registered in Brazos County.
The referendum is expected to take place during the November general election ballot. If voters approve, the $10 fee could be imposed starting in February 2023.
Brazos County Regional Mobility Authority Chairman Barry Moore said the fee is a small price to pay to help ease congestion and improve roads in the county.
“Every year congestion gets worse by about five percent. These are numbers from the Texas Transportation Institute that we are fortunate to have in this county,” Moore said. “If we do nothing, we can expect this to continue.”
According to the Brazos County Tax Assessors Office, just over 160,000 vehicles are registered in the county. At $10 per vehicle, the county could generate $1.6 million.
Brazos County tax assessor Kristeen Roe says it’s not clear at this time what type of vehicles the $10 fee will be imposed on.
“The question is whether it’s going to incorporate trailers or not. Specifically for me, the farm trailers,” Roe said. “I don’t have that answer right now, but it’s something I I’ll ask the state.”
Brazos County Commissioners and local leaders expressed support for the registration fee in November 2020.
“I think this is a great opportunity for us to improve transportation in Brazos County and I wholeheartedly support it,” said Raney, (R) – District 14.
The RMA has expressed three initial projects of interest. The inner Easter Loop would begin on Highway 6 and loop outward around Highway 21 near Coulter Field, FM1179 SH30, and return to Highway 6 near William D. Fitch Parkway.
The RMA also wants to make improvements to SH21/SH 47 near the RELLIS campus and Arrington Road, where it intersects William D. Fitch Parkway.
Moore says that for about 0.83 cents per month, the fee is one of the best ways to help reinvest in roads while leveraging local resources.
“We have to do something,” Moore said. “It’s a way to use funds coming from this community from vehicle registrations to get funds from TxDOT, the federal government and other places that we might not be able to get otherwise.”
County leaders have until mid-August to decide whether this referendum will be on the November ballot.
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