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COLUMBUS, Ohio – After just two hours of public testimony, a committee looking for solutions to Ohio’s highway funding gap found consensus on just one potential revenue source: raising the Ohio gas tax.
The panel didn’t get to the level of detail Wednesday afternoon of specifying how much the tax increase should be.
Governor - Advisory - Committee - Transportation - Infrastructure
The Governor’s Advisory Committee on Transportation Infrastructure otherwise didn’t find agreement on other ways to raise money for Ohio’s road system, but additional sources of revenue could be added to a report being compiled on the group’s work.
Other ideas discussed included indexing the gas tax to construction inflation rates, assessing highway user fees on alternative-fuel vehicles, such as hybrid and electric cars, how and whether to control how local governments and the Ohio Department of Transportation use money for roads and whether Ohio needs more toll roads.
Ohio - Transportation - Funds - Tax - Time
Ohio is running out of transportation funds because current 28-cents-a-gallon tax doesn’t buy as much as it did in 2005, the last time it increased. Money from Ohio Turnpike bonds has been spent or is committed to projects. Cars are more efficient and drivers buy less gas, paying less gas tax. And Ohio has borrowed against future gas revenues. All of this has created a funding gap.
Jack Marchbanks, director of the Ohio Department of Transportation, addressed the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Transportation Infrastructure, which met for the first time Tuesday. The panel needs to come up with solutions to Ohio's road funding woes, since money is dried up.
Committee - Report - Brenton - Temple - Staffer
The committee’s final report is being assembled by Brenton Temple, a staffer for Gov. Mike DeWine. DeWine has to get a transportation budget proposal to the legislature soon. The Ohio General Assembly needs to pass it by March 31. Temple’s report will come out sooner, and committee members were told to contact him with their ideas.
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