By Rick Palsgrove
The city of Groveport stands to receive more in its share of local gasoline tax revenue if state officials proceed with instituting an increase in the gasoline tax.
Currently, Ohio’s gasoline tax is 28 cents a gallon. Governor Mike DeWine has proposed raising the gasoline tax by 18 cents a gallon beginning July 1.
However, the Ohio House of Representatives prefers raising the gasoline tax by 10.7 cents per gallon instead, phased in over a three year period. The Ohio Senate is still pondering the issue. The proposed gas tax increase would generate money for road projects around the state.
Groveport currently receives $316,569 in gasoline tax money from the state. According to city officials, under DeWine’s proposal, that amount would increase to $546,778 in 2020; $561,465 in 2021; $570,437 in 2022; $579,549 in 2023; and $588,808 in 2024. Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall said the city has not been notified yet what the amounts would be under the Ohio Legislature’s proposal.
Hall said the city uses the local gasoline tax revenue for, “Street projects for our larger streets. For example, we will use it for our upcoming Bixby Road project (which is a pavement rehabilitation project extending from Ebright Road to U.S. Route 33).”
When asked if the city would expand its existing list of projects that use this money once the state finalizes the gas tax hike level, Hall replied, “We will not expand on the list based on this. We will just be able to perform the work quicker. The list is based on the condition of the streets.”
Parking and heavy trucks
On March 25, council is scheduled to vote on an ordinance to revise restrictions on heavy trucks that park in the city’s residential areas. However, at council’s March 18 committee of the whole meeting, several council members indicated more time is needed to do research before taking a vote.
“This takes a lot more looking into and more research before we decide,” said Council President Shawn Cleary.
The current city law prohibits trucks, tractors, or trailers with an empty gross vehicle weight of 2.5 tons (5,000 pounds) from parking in residential areas after 6 p.m or before 7 a.m., except for deliveries of goods and materials. The restriction makes no distinction between parking such vehicles on the street or driveway, it just reads “residential areas.”
One proposed change to the ordinance would raise the restricted empty gross vehicle weight limit to 4.5 tons (9,000 pounds).
Groveport Law Director Kevin Shannon said the proposed revision to the law arose because of problems with some large vehicles parking in multiple city neighborhoods. He said the big trucks block the streets causing traffic congestion and making it difficult for emergency vehicles to get through.
Shannon said the current law, as it is currently written, is causing enforcement problems because there are SUVs, some pick-up trucks, and vehicles such as Escalades that are over the weight limit.
Councilman Ed Dildine has suggested the gross vehicle weight limit be revised upward in the legislation.
“The classifications need to be updated,” said Dildine. “There are newer pick-up trucks out there that weigh more than they did in the past.”
Council will discuss the proposed legislation further and seek public input about it at its meeting on March 25 at 6:30 p.m. in the municipal building, 655 Blacklick St.