FOLEY -- Benton County is considering whether to join several other Minnesota counties in adopting a local option sales tax to help pay for road construction projects.

County Administrator Monty Headley says the board of commissioners wants to explore whether adding the county-wide sales tax to help pay for unfunded road projects would allow them to reduce property taxes and possibly the wheelage tax...

I think at this point it's more a process of exploring options, looking at various scenarios, and then at some point making a decision of whether they want to move forward with scheduling a public hearing and possibly adopting it.

Benton County currently collects a $20 wheelage tax when motorists renew their license tabs but do not have a local option sales tax in place.

Currently, only 16 of Minnesota's 87 counties don't have either a wheelage tax or a local option sales tax, while 29 others have a wheelage tax, 25 have a combination of both and 17 others have either a half-percent or quarter-percent sales tax only.

Headley says of Benton County's 450 miles of roads, half don't qualify for state funding.