For informational/historical purposes only.

NEWS RELEASE
The Ohio Department of Transportation & The Office of Governor Bob Taft
April 26,  2002

 

TAFT PRAISES U.S. SENATE ACTION TO ELIMINATE DIVERSION OF FEDERAL HIGHWAY FUNDS
Provision Could Result in an Extra $50 Million Coming to Ohio

COLUMBUS (April 26, 2002) Governor Bob Taft today praised the U.S. Senate for passing legislation that will halt the ethanol tax diversion of 2.5 cents a gallon from the Highway Trust Fund. This action would enable all of the ethanol tax collected to be used for transportation purposes and could result in an estimated increase of $50 million in annual federal transportation funding coming to Ohio.

"This provision is a significant step in our agenda to increase the federal transportation funding Ohio receives," said Taft. "We have been working with Ohios congressional delegation on this issue and yesterdays actions are a direct result of this work. I commend the efforts of Senators Voinovich and DeWine and Congressman Portman to make this change that will benefit Ohioans."

The ethanol provision was part of a Senate energy bill sponsored by Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana). The legislation will now be sent to a conference committee.

Overall, fuel use levels in Ohio have remained relatively steady, increasing approximately 1.5 percent annually, while ethanol use has grown considerably over the last decade. In state fiscal year 2000 ethanol use rose to approximately 2 billion gallons, up from slightly more then 1 billion in 1992. The tax on ethanol is 13 cents a gallon. The federal gasoline tax is 18.4 cents a gallon.

A complex array of formulas determines the funding each state receives from the Highway Trust Fund. The allocation of federal funding ODOT receives annually is based solely on the amount of gas taxes paid by Ohio into the Trust Fund. Any diversion of these taxes results in less money for the states road and bridge construction.

"I encourage Congress to continue taking steps to promote greater fairness and equity in federal highway funding," said Taft.