What is Wheelage Tax and How Can it Help Me?

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Are you confused about how the Wheelage Tax works? There are many different components that are included in this tax for the state of Minnesota.

Today I will give you a complete guide on how you can properly understand how it works and what you’ll need to do in order to pay your Wheelage Tax correctly this year.

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Minneapolis Minnesota downtown

Here are the questions we’ll answer about wheelage tax:

  1. What is Wheelage Tax?
  2. How Does the MN Wheelage Tax Work?
  3. Where Do I Pay My MN Wheelage Tax?

What is Wheelage Tax?

Wheelage Tax is a fee collect by counties in Minnesota (MN) that allows each county to levy a tax on vehicles that are housed primarily in a particular county. This tax is added to your vehicle registration fee which is then paid to the county to help fund its transportation system. 

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The fees collected go towards the cost of building and repairing the county roads with a $20 fee generating $4.4 million dollars in revenue for the county of Washington in 2019.

How Does the MN Wheelage Tax Work?

The state of Minnesota will calculate the wheelage tax for you, and they will send you a bill every year. You will have to pay the wheelage tax before the end of the year when the tax is due at the time of your vehicle registration. 

Minnesota Highway wheelage tax

If you have a qualifying exempt vehicle, then you will not have to pay an annual registration tax. Below are the exempt vehicles:

  •  Motorcycles
  • Motorized bicycles
  • Trailers
  • Mopeds 

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How Much is Wheelage Tax?

There is a minimum of $10 levied by counties with a maximum fee of $20. The amount you will pay will vary based on the county you are from.

Below are the Participating Wheelage Counties and Cost in Minnesota:

  • Benton:  320-968-5054 – Stayed at $20
  • Big Stone: 320-839-6366 – Increased to $10 (with registration period that begins January 1, 2020 & beyond)
  • Brown:  507-233-5700 – Stayed at $20
  • Carlton: ​218-879-5951 – Increased to $15 (with registration period that begins January 1, 2020 & beyond)
  • Carver:  952-361-1910 – Stayed at $20
  • Chisago: 651-257-1300 – Stayed at $10
  • Clay: 218-299-5012 – Stayed at $10
  • Cottonwood: 507-831-1458 – Stayed at $10
  • Dakota:  651-438-8318 – Stayed at $10
  • Dodge:  507-374-6694 – Stayed at $20
  • Faribault:  507-526-6225 – Stayed at $10
  • Fillmore: 507-765-4483  – Stayed at $20
  • Freeborn: 507-377-5116 – Stayed at $10
  • Goodhue: 651-385-3000 – Stayed at $10
  • Hennepin: 612-348-3000 – Increased to $20 (with registration period that begins January 1, 2020 & beyond)
  • Houston: 507-725-3925 – Stayed at $10
  • Isanti: 763-689-1130 – Stayed at $10
  • Itasca: 218-327-2853 – Stayed at $10
  • Jackson: 507-847-2525 – Stayed at $10
  • Kanabec: 320-679-6300 – Stayed at $10
  • Kandiyohi: 320-235-3266 – Stayed at $10
  • Lac qui Parle: 320-598-3878 – Stayed at $10
  • Le Sueur: 507-357-2251 – Stayed at $10
  • Lincoln: 507-694-1464 – Stayed at $10
  • Lyon: 507-537-6724  – Stayed at $10
  • Marshall: 218-745-4381 – Stayed at $10
  • Martin: 507-238-3274 – Stayed at $10
  • McLeod: 320-864-5551 – (discontinued with registration period that begins January 1, 2020 & beyond)
  • Mille Lacs: 320-983-8218 – Stayed at $10
  • Mower: 507-437-7718 – Stayed at $10
  • Murray: 507-836-1152  – Stayed at $10
  • Nicollet: 507-934-7204 – Stayed at $20
  • Nobles: 507-295-5200 – Stayed at $10
  • Norman: 218-784-5473 – Stayed at $10
  • Olmsted: 507-328-7070 – Stayed at $10
  • Otter Tail: 218-998-8473 – Stayed at $20
  • Pennington: 218-683-7017 – Stayed at $10
  • Pipestone:  507-825-6730  -Stayed at $15
  • Pope: 320-634-7700 – Increased to $20 (with registration period that begins January 1, 2020 & beyond)
  • Ramsey: 651-266-7100 – Stayed at $20
  • Redwood: 507-637-4020 – Stayed at $10
  • Renville: 320-523-3759 – Stayed at $10
  • Rice: 507-332-6100 – Stayed at $20
  • Rock: 507-283-5024 – Stayed at $10
  • Scott:  952-496-8346 – Stayed at $10
  • Sherburne: 763-765-3300 – Stayed at $10
  • Sibley: 507-237-7800 – Stayed at $10
  • Stearns: 320-656-3600 – Stayed at $10
  • Steele: 507-444-7400 – Stayed at $20
  • Swift: 320-314-8399 – Stayed at $10
  • Wabasha: 651-565-2480 – Stayed at $20
  • Waseca: 507-835-0630 – Stayed at $10
  • Washington:  651-430-6175 – Stayed at $20
  • Watonwan: 507-375-3393 – Stayed at $15

According to Minnesota Department of Public Safety, If the wheelage tax is paid at the time of registration and the vehicle is moved to another county, the tax is not refunded.

Where Do I Pay My MN Wheelage Tax?

If you want to pay your MN wheelage tax, you can pay it online at the time of your vehicle registration renewal or at a local motor vehicle center in your county. If you do pay in person, please double check with your office to see if you will need an appointment to do that.

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Can I get a refund if I move to a county that does not have a wheelage tax after I’ve already paid it? 

In most cases no. The Wheelage Tax  is due at the time of your vehicle registration and is based solely on where the vehicle is kept at that time of recording.

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Can you deduct Wheelage Tax in Minnesota?

This is a very good question. The answer is yes, you can  deduct the vehicle Registration Tax (which includes Wheelage Tax)  if you report the deduction on your FEDERAL return. This will then reduce your income taxable to Minnesota.

You can only do this if you itemize deductions on your federal return through Schedule A (Form 1040). Please remember that you’re only able to claim this tax deduction for passenger automobiles, pickup trucks, and vans.

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It’s also good to know that your standard deduction is pretty good at $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for couples filing jointly, so you’ll most likely not use the itemized deduction method and having this as a tax deduction will not mean anything to you. 

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How do I deduct my vehicle license fees?


You will need to subtract $35 from the registration tax paid for all the vehicles you own, and include this number in the total on line 7 of Schedule A. Please note that you may not deduct other amounts such as plate fees and filing fees.

How do I find the registration tax I paid?


See your vehicle registration renewal form issued by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS).

Remember: Keep track of your expenses and income on a spreadsheet or bookkeeping program such as FreshBooks.

Final Thoughts

That’s a wrap! You now know all about wheelage tax in Minnesota and how you can go about paying it. Now you can start to plan out your budget for next year.

If you want more handy tax tips, then feel free to check out my latest articles here.

What is Wheelage Tax and How Can it Help Me
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Until the next money adventure, take care from The Handy Tax Guy Team!

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