Portage County Tea Party to fight license fee hike

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The Portage County Tea Party announced Tuesday that it is going to attempt to collect the 5,000 or more signatures needed to put two license fee tax increases on the November ballot.

Portage County commissioners voted to increase fees from $5 per year to $15 per year, per vehicle, on May 29.

"Our survey showed that 86 percent of Portage County citizens want this issue on the ballot," said Tom Zawistowski, executive director of the Portage group.

"Despite the inability of the county prosecutor, the board of elections or the secretary of state's office to clearly explain the process, we feel that we have enough information to get it done."

The tea party also has set up locations where residents can come and sign petitions. Members will be at the following locations:

The Hiram Corner Store, 11658 Garfield Road, from 7 to 9 p.m. every day this week

Shoemakers Outlet, 257 W. Main St., Ravenna, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

Suffield Town Hall from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

Members also will collect signatures at Garrettsville Summerfest this weekend.

The deadline to submit signatures to the Portage County Board of Elections is Monday.

Portage County Engineer Michael Marozzi has said the fee hikes will bring in up to $700,000 in new money for repair of county roads and bridges.

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