Many Ohioans would like to know more about the revenue sources that fund our roads and bridges. Most people understand that a gas tax is included in the price per gallon that we pay at the pump. But how the entire highway revenue puzzle fits together is less clear for many. Let’s take a look.
Ohio has three primary sources for transportation funding: state highway revenue, federal highway revenue and bond revenue. State and federal highway revenues are the two largest components by far, providing 42% and 44% respectively of Ohio’s $3.017 billion total revenue for fiscal year 2016. Both are generated primarily from motor fuel taxes, commonly referred to as state and federal gas taxes. Additionally, bond revenues provide 9% and a combination of other state, federal and local government sources make up the remaining 5%.
At the federal revenue level, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) federal highway program apportionment for Ohio will range from approximately $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion annually from fiscal year 2016 through fiscal year 2021. While the FAST Act provides some short-term stability, it does not include a plan for sustainable long-term highway funding. Rather, it supplements the $0.184 per gallon federal motor fuel tax, which has been in place since 1993, with a one-time transfer from the General Fund.
At the state level, the Ohio gas tax will generate $1.163 billion for 2016. It provides more than 90% of the state highway revenue that ODOT receives for maintenance and improvement of Ohio’s surface transportation system.
Federal and State motor fuel tax revenues are further allocated between the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Local communities. Vehicle and Truck Registrations and Title Fees also make up a substantial portion of local revenues providing $494 million in fiscal year 2015.
To learn more about highway funding in Ohio and how transportation revenues are used, spend a few minutes with Ohio Highway Funding – Paying Our Way. Time well spent for sure!