For informational/historical purposes only.

The Ohio Department of Transportation & The Office of Governor Bob Taft
May 21, 2003


New Federal Proposal Key to Taft's Transportation Agenda
Legislation would provide Ohio $56 million additional in federal funding

COLUMBUS (May 21, 2003) A new federal bill introduced today is an important element in Gov. Bob Tafts drive to increase federal transportation funding coming to Ohio. The legislation guarantees states a 95 percent rate on their federal transportation funding and would provide Ohio approximately $56 million more annually in new revenue.

"The funding generated through this legislation would significantly help us address critical safety and infrastructure needs," said Taft. "I commend Sen.Voinovich and his peers for their foresight in introducing this legislation."

The legislation, sponsored by Sens. Voinovich (R-Ohio) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and House Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-Texas) and Rep. Baron P. Hill (D-Ind.), is consistent with the proposal developed by a coalition of "donor states" that have formed the States Highway Alliance for Real Equity (SHARE). SHAREs mission is to increase federal transportation funding donor states receive. In addition to Ohio, other members of SHARE include Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Ohio has been a federal donor state since 1956, when the current federal transportation funding process was established. During the development of the nations interstate system, Ohio and other large states understood the need to provide funding to sparsely populated western states to ensure the country completed a connected, continent-wide highway network. However, over the years since 1956 a disparity developed regarding the allocation of federal transportation funds resulting in some large states consistently receiving more than 100 percent of contributions while Ohio receives 88 percent.

In March 2002, Gov. Taft announced Ohios federal transportation funding agenda, which included:

  • establishing a 95 percent rate of return currently, Ohio receives approximately 88 cents for each dollar in federal highway taxes sent to Washington, which costs the state $56 million in federal funding.
  • eliminating the ethanol penalty 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. The ethanol penalty of these two issues cost Ohio approximately $160 million.