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The $5 Fee Fandangle
    Luzerne County Council enacted Ordinance #2018-4 during their voting session of May 8, 2018.  This ordinance imposes a five dollar ($5.00) county fee for each and every non-exempt vehicle registered to an address located within Luzerne County.        Section 5 of this ordinance provides for a ‘Sunset Provision’.  This provision states: “The five dollar ($5.00) local use vehicle registration fee shall automatically be repealed with no further action of Luzerne County Council being necessary should PennDOT terminate its initiative of the dollar for dollar match to counties’ fees for local use collected.” And therein the problem lies.        Act 89 goes to great detail on many issues but in respect to the five dollar fee there is only one provision:  Levy § 1935.  Fee for local use. (b)  Levy.--Beginning after December 31, 2014, a county may, in its discretion, by ordinance, impose a fee of $5 for each nonexempt vehicle registered to an address located in the county. A county shall notify the department of the passage of the ordinance 90 days prior to the effective date of the ordinance. There is no discussion on repeal.       According to a source with PennDOT once the fee is levied by the County - you’re in.  No provision to automatically opt-out for any reason is permissible.  Therefore, the ‘Sunset Provision’ in Ordinance #2018-4 must be removed by County Council to comply with the language required by the State or the entire ordinance repealed as the sunset clause was a key isssue to the ordinance’s passage.       Should the County decide in a future year to opt-out of participating in this program they must do so, again by ordinance, and follow the same guidelines for submittal.  Opting in and out on a continual basis will not be allowed.  From the State’s point of view this makes sense.  If permitted counties would create an absolute nightmare for PennDOT’s administration.       For Luzerne County Council it shines a light on their repeated following what they are told by the Executive Branch instead of reading, researching and listening to the people, in other words, being the Legislative Branch.  They even rely on an Executive Branch solicitor to interpret and translate our Charter and its Codes, the very laws they have sworn an oath to uphold, making it a difficult task to fulfill when lacking in basic reading comprehension.