Commissioners support gas tax increase

COLUMBUS — The County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) has announced its support of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s budget plan that would increase the motor fuel tax by 18 cents per gallon, with future increases indexed to consumer price inflation.

This action will help restore a strong partnership between the state and local governments in addressing the state’s infrastructure needs. County governments are responsible for the maintenance and repair of more than 26,000 bridges and 29,000 county road miles.

“We are grateful for Gov. (Mike) DeWine’s strong leadership on this issue,” CCAO President Julie Ehemann said. “This proposal will help counties address critical needs in our transportation system, including over 1,800 bridges that are eligible for immediate replacement and another 6,000 that are eligible for repair. It is clear that Ohio must improve and expand its transportation infrastructure to meet the economic challenges of the 21st century and Ohio’s counties are committed to partnering with the state to make this happen.”

The state’s motor fuel tax has not increased since 2005. Given expected changes in automotive technology, CCAO said it also supports including electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles in any potential fee increases.