Transportation budget passed

Ohio lawmakers missed the deadline by a few days, but passed a transportation budget that was signed by Gov. Mike DeWine in early April. A compromise was reached through House Bill 62, which was swiftly passed by both legislative bodies the same day it came out of conference committee.

The new tax rates for motor fuel (38.5 cents per gallon) and diesel gas (47 cents per gallon) are effective July 1, 2019, when gasoline taxes will increase by 10.5 cents and diesel taxes by 19 cents.

There will be a five year phase-in to set the compressed natural gas tax rate at the same level as the diesel rate. New electric and hybrid vehicle registration fees were set at $100 and $200, respectively.

Ohio Farm Bureau policy, which is ratified by Farm Bureau’s farmer members, supported the increase in funding for Ohio’s infrastructure needs.

“Farmers and motorists alike currently incur many costs because of the condition of Ohio’s roads and bridges, such as the repairs to vehicles as a result of bad roads, lost time on congested roadways and more fuel for longer commutes due to weight limits on structurally deficient roads and bridges,” Jenna Beadle, OFBF director of state policy, said in official testimony earlier this year. “Ohioans are already paying reactively as a result of ODOT’s funding gap, so let us be proactive and fund the necessary repairs instead.”

Two other provisions in the transportation budget include giving townships a greater share of fuel tax revenue by reinstating the distribution formula that was in place in 2003, and no longer requiring front license plates on motor vehicles effective July 1, 2020.

Ohio Farm Bureau membership