(Posted April 11, 2019)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
With passage of the state transportation budget, fuel taxes are going up which will put more money in government coffers for road work.
The Ohio House and Senate passed House Bill 62 on April 2. The bill raises the tax rate for gasoline by 10.5 cents per gallon and the rate for diesel by 19 cents per gallon, effective July 1. The new tax rate for gasoline will be 38.5 cents per gallon; the new tax rate for diesel will be 47 cents per gallon.
The changes will increase motor fuel tax revenue by $865 million per year across Ohio. Local governments will receive 45 percent of the new revenue. The remainder will go to the Ohio Department of Transportation.
For the local share, the money is divided equally among Ohio’s 88 counties. In each county, 37.14 percent of the local share goes to the county engineer’s office, 42.86 percent goes to cities and villages, and 20 percent goes to townships.
The estimated new annual revenues for Madison County are as follows:
- Madison County engineer’s office–$3,967,041, up from $2,436,948;
- Each of the county’s 14 townships–$147,205, up from $90,475;
- London–$567,964, up from $349,441;
- Midway–$8,548, up from $5,259;
- Mount Sterling–$100,669, up from $61,937;
- Plain City–$208,255, up from $128,129;
- South Solon–$20,471, up from $12,595;
- West Jefferson–$236,319, up from $145,395.
Madison County Engineer Bryan Dhume said the additional money is sorely needed.
“The big need is for asphalt resurfacing, countywide–not just for county roads, but for township roads, too,” he said. “As the county grows, many of our roads aren’t wide enough and don’t have the structural capacity to handle heavy truck traffic. As a result, they suffer a lot of damage.”
Levin Hutson, president of the Madison County Township Trustees Association, said the additional $56,730 each township will receive annually will help to make up for the pinch townships have felt since the inheritance tax was abolished several years back.
“Some of the townships have really been struggling since then,” he said. “(The gas tax increases) help bridge that gap with funds you can count on and budget with.
“It is enough to make a difference,” he continued. “Every little bit helps. We can do more maintenance, culverts under roads, and resurface on a more timely schedule.”