COLUMBUS—While the Senate currently debates the state's biennial Transportation Budget, State Senator Bill Coley (R-Liberty Township) is suggesting an innovative approach to closing a funding gap identified by the Ohio Department of Transportation for the proper maintenance of Ohio's roads and bridges. The plan serves as an alternative to the hotly debated 18 cent gas tax increase proposed by Governor Mike DeWine.
"If Ohio is going to keep pace with other states, we have to think outside the box on new ways to fund our crumbling infrastructure," said Coley. "The safety of our families and the ability to do business in Ohio depends on having roads that continue to support a high volume of travel. My solution will ultimately save Ohioans money, while still coming up with the necessary funding to ensure our roads are safe."
Senator Coley has suggested that Ohioans—as well as individuals and businesses from surrounding states who frequently travel in Ohio—could have the opportunity to pre-pay their motor fuel tax when they register their vehicle. They would then receive a card with a unique code that demonstrates that they have already paid, and will not be charged at the pump.
"With more fuel efficient cars on the road and a rising trend toward electric vehicles, this solution moves away from the antiquated "pennies-per-gallon" model and shifts the tax burden more evenly across all drivers," added Coley. "The fact that we are able to close this gap, not by raising taxes, but simply by shifting the tax burden is important for us to consider as we continue to have these conversations."
Out of state drivers passing through Ohio, or those who choose not to not pre-pay, would still be required to pay the gas tax as usual when they fill up their tanks.
For more information or to set up an interview regarding Senator Coley's proposal, please contact his office at (614) 466-8072 or email Coley@OhioSenate.gov.