While I empathize with Ashland residents who now will have to pony up an extra $20 when they pay for license plates, I also can’t help but feeling sorry for elected officials who are trying to govern while wearing handcuffs.

Residents reacted to the new wheel tax with predictable outrage. They correctly pointed out that some city streets are in pretty rough shape. They reminded their leaders that their property taxes already went up this year. They argued that increasing taxes of any sort will drive people away from an already-struggling city with limited housing and job prospects.

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