A panel of transportation experts is telling Gov. Mike DeWine that the best way to generate more funding for road projects is to increase the gas tax, but they avoided a specific recommendation.
The committee, appointed by DeWine, tallied five reasons why an increase to the gas tax is the best way to fill a funding gap.
They say, the gas tax is:
- "An efficient funding means."
- "Protected by the Ohio Constitution, which specifies that motor fuel user fees pay only for highway construction and related activities."
- "Fair to those who pay it because road upkeep is connected to the act of driving."
- "Easy to quickly implement to meet the urgent need for funding."
- "Good for the state’s transportation needs and trade. Because neighboring states have higher motor vehicle user fees, an increase in Ohio would meet the state’s transportation requirements without hurting its economic competitiveness."
And the committee’s report noted that Ohio’s 28-cents a gallon tax is lower than almost every other bordering state.
But while many were waiting on a detailed recommendation, but the committee shied away from a specific increase.
ODOT has said it’s facing a billion dollar shortfall, and that a penny increase would bring in $67 million in revenue, a portion of which goes to local governments.
The transportation budget must be signed into law by March 31.