Highway Funding in the News
February 25, 2019 - from the desk of Michelle Holdgreve
On Thursday, February 21, 2019 Governor DeWine and his Administration committed to addressing Ohio’s transportation infrastructure funding problem by recommending an 18-cent increase to the state motor fuel user fee in the two-year transportation budget proposal. The increase would take effect in July 1, 2019. In addition, the fee would be indexed to the Consumer Price Index annually. At its onset, an additional $1.2 billion would be available to state and local governments for transportation spending.
The proposal must now be approved by the Ohio General Assembly. Please take a moment and contact your legislators either by phone, email or letter, asking them to support the DeWine Administration’s transportation proposal. If you are unfamiliar with your legislators, you can locate their name and contact information by entering your full address in the search function here - https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/ It works best when you have your 9-digit zip code. Or call 1-800-282-0253 to be connected directly to your Representative’s or Senator’s office.
As a guide for your conversations, please see the sample letter below. Remember, the most effective advocacy is one that is personal, so make sure to add your own perspective and experience.
Also for background, additional details about the Fix Our Roads (FOR) Ohio recommendations can be found at www.fixourroadsohio.com. You can also visit ODOT’s newly created budget website at https://beta.transportation.ohio.gov/budget. Here you will find copies of Director Marchbanks’ testimony to the Ohio House Finance Committee as well as other importation information on their funding shortfall.
Ohio’s highways, whether the local two lane road or the interstate freeway, serve all who live, work and play in the Buckeye State. They get people to work each day and provide convenient access to shopping and recreation. They expedite commercial transportation and help Ohio’s economy thrive. But, population growth and economic development have increased demands on our roads and bridges and our roads are suffering from ruts and potholes and bridges are showing structural deficiency.
Our state is facing a major shortfall of reliable funding for our state’s roads and bridges. Without a funding increase, the system will continue to fall in disrepair and become further congested - damaging the overall vitality of our state and the safety of all Ohioans. The primary source of road and bridge funding in the state is through the Motor Fuel User Fee. At 28 cents-per-gallon, Ohio currently ranks 29th in the country and it is much lower than in other states. This fee has not been adjusted in 14 years, and the purchasing power of the 28-cent motor fuel user fee passed in 2005 now equates to 18 cents in 2018 dollars. Additional funding is about to dramatically decrease with the expiration of the Ohio’s Turnpike Board program and the continuing influence of inflation.
Absent new revenue, the Ohio Department of Transportation will make significant reductions and eliminate funding for new projects aimed to add capacity and relieve congestions, as well as delay needed maintenance and upgrades to existing bridges and roadways. In Governor DeWine’s proposed FY-2020 and 2021 Transportation Budget, he proposed increasing the state motor fuel user fee by 18-cents beginning on July 1, 2019. In addition, the fee would be indexed to the Consumer Price Index annually going forward.
This is the exact kind of leadership we need to see. Please support the DeWine Administration’s proposal to address the anticipated shortfall in transportation funding and resources for new projects designed to capacity and relieve congestion on Ohio’s roads and maintain and update existing bridges and roadways. Investing in Ohio’s transportation future is about ensuring safe, effective and efficient transportation for all Ohioans.
For the closing be sure to include your phone number so they can follow up if needed.
Thanks for your support and let me know if you have any questions or need anything else.