The City of Springfield is projected to gain more than $1 million to add to their street repair funds now that a controversial Ohio gas tax will become law.
The rest of Clark County communities also stand to make more than $1 million combined, according to information obtained from the Ohio Department of Transportation.
In 2021, the city could get more than $1.1 million than it would before the new gas tax, the information from ODOT projects.
“The intention of that money is to be put back into maintaining our road infrastructure,” Springfield City Manager Bryan Heck said. “As we have found, unfortunately, a million dollars does not go very far when it comes to maintaining and reconstructing our roadways.”
Heck did say though that at a time the city is refocusing its efforts to fix roads, the money will help.
“We have committed to our levy a minimum of $2 million to impact our neighborhood streets and any additional dollars that we can put forth fixing our roads is significant to our community,” he said.
Ohio drivers will pay an additional tax of 10.5-cents per gallon of gas and 19-cents per gallon of diesel, beginning July 1, under a transportation budget signed last week by Gov. Mike DeWine. The additional gasoline tax is expected to cost a motorist who drives 15,000 miles a year and gets 25 miles per gallon an extra $63 per year.
Overall the gas and diesel tax hikes are expected to raise $865 million a year in additional revenue, which will be split 55-45 between state and local government.
Previously, a structured deficit had been built over the years with the state borrowing money to the point it was maxed on its credit. Ohio now owes $4 billion, with $390 million in interest alone this year and won’t be paid off until 2052 according to DeWine.
Urbana will get more than $250,000 from the gas tax to put towards road and infrastructure, the statistics show.
While the money is welcomed to local community officials, drivers pumping their gas who spoke to this news organization said they feel they pay enough at the pump and overall, were not supportive of raising taxes.
ODOT Central Office Press Secretary Matt Bruning said the department does not have any major new projects scheduled in Clark County or Champaign County. The money will be used to continue to upkeep the roads in the area, he said.
“Our problem has been that we are driving more miles but we are getting the same amount of fuel as they did 10 years ago,” Bruning said. “When cars become more fuel efficient, it’s better for you and I, but the problem is we are putting more wear and tear on roads but paying the same amount of gas tax — or even less — than before.”
DeWine talked about the gas tax increase during the Clark County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner on Friday, where he was the keynote speaker for the event.
“I knew we were in trouble, but not as much as we were,” DeWine said. “There wasn’t a lot of warning for people.”
The losses hit smaller townships and villages the most, DeWine said.
“We’re investing in our state, in our workers, our kids our infrastructure in this great state of ours,” said DeWine.
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