MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Vehicle owners in Minnesota’s two largest counties will soon pay more to register their cars and trucks.

On Tuesday, commissioners in both Hennepin and Ramsey counties approved an inaugural $10 wheelage tax per vehicle.

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The money will fund road and bridge projects on county roads, as elected officials in both counties hear continuous road condition complaints.

“It’s a user fee so it’s paid by people who use the roads and bridges,” Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin said. “I think that appropriate and it’s clearly preferable in my mind to property tax.”

McLaughlin said the money will also fund new projects that will help cut down congestion.

“You’re going to have some new coordinated traffic light systems, and some smart lights that will decide which street gets to go,” McLaughlin said.

The wheelage tax will be added on to the fee you pay when you buy your car tabs.

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The fees will generate $9 million in revenue for Hennepin County and $3 million in Ramsey.

It’s the first time both counties have implemented the wheelage tax, and some Minnesotans said it’s worth it to have quality roads and bridges.

“I think it’s OK, I think it’s fair,” Jesse Moran said.

Patrick Troska said, “As long as they fix the road it makes me very happy.”

Currently, Anoka, Washington, Dakota, Scott and Carver counties all collect a wheelage tax.

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Hennepin and Ramsey Counties said they will first work on some deferred maintenance projects that need to get done.

Reg Chapman