For informational/historical purposes only.

NEWS RELEASE
The Ohio Department of Transportation & The Office of Governor Bob Taft
July 16, 2002

 

TAFT TOUTS OHIO'S TRANSPORTATION FUNDING AGENDA TO CONGRESS
New Provisions Would Bring Additional Funding to Ohio

COLUMBUS (July 16, 2002) Governor Bob Taft today outlined the impact on Ohio resulting from the loss of revenue from the Highway Trust Fund in testimony before the Highways and Transit Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The Governors testimony highlights one of his top federal priorities to increase the federal transportation funding Ohio receives. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, the current six-year funding bill expires in October 2003. Ohio on average receives nearly $950 million in federal transportation funds annually.

"Ohios highways are the crossroads for Americas manufacturing sector. We cant afford a reduction in our federal transportation funding at a time when we face the massive task of rebuilding our states highway system," Taft said. "I urge Congress to take further action to rectify inequities in the federal highway funding program."

The Governor told the committee he supports the use of alternative fuels. However, he explained, the increased use of these fuels will have a significant impact on federal transportation funding levels if the current allocation system is not altered. 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.

Taft emphasized his goal to remove the penalty Ohio and other states are experiencing for using ethanol. Ohio incurs an "ethanol penalty" of approximately $150 million. Ethanol is taxed at 13 cents a gallon compared to the federal tax on gasoline of 18.4 cents a gallon. For every gallon of ethanol sold in Ohio, the state contributes 5.4 cents less to the Highway Trust Fund. In addition, 2.5 cents of the ethanol tax is diverted from the Highway Trust Fund and placed into the federal general revenue fund.

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 two billion gallons, up from slightly more than one billion in 1992.