A good deal
Drivers are sensitive to any government-imposed increase in their costs, but they and their vehicles also are sensitive to potholes and poorly maintained roads and bridges.
A new state law is going to take more money out of their pockets in fuel taxes but it's also going to deliver vastly better roads and bridges.
The same law includes an opportunity to fund substantially better local roads and bridges at minimal cost - a $5 increase in the state vehicle registration fee.
Under the new transportation law, county governments have the option to impose that $5 atop the state's $36 fee.
Ideally, the state itself simply would increase the registration fee and send back the money to the county where the vehicle is registered. But lawmakers want county officials to share some of the political pain for the increased fees.
Local county officials should approve the increase. Doing so would improve the condition of local roads at a modest $5 annual hit per vehicle, which is a pretty fair distribution of the burden. Local programs would complement the accelerated state repair schedule flowing from the new law, and county governments could target money where it is most needed - including for job-creating projects that require public roads.
You can't get much for five bucks these days. Better roads for that price would be a bargain.