NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) - Tuscarawas County’s engineer is beginning to identify specific projects to address when the new state gas tax hike starts boosting his road and bridge work budget.
Joe Bachman says the tax is estimated to bring his department up to $400,000 this year, and then $1.5-million per year starting next year, which is a 20-to-25 percent increase to his budget. He says the additional funds will start coming in October.
“The bulk of the funding won’t really come to us until 2020. We do have one bridge definitely that we are replacing next year. It’s on Hilltop Road in Franklin Township, but we’re still working on the rest of the list,” he says.
Bachman says the county had pretty much shut down its bridge replacement program in the last few years, and many roads are in rough shape, so he’s grateful to legislators for providing more funding.
“It’s not easy to be in that position and have to raise taxes, but it is definitely something that had to be done, and I have to compliment them for being responsible legislators,” he says.
The new rate went into effect July 1st. It increases tax on gas by 10.5 cents per gallon and tax on diesel fuel by 19 cents per gallon. Ohioans now pay a state tax rate of 38.5 cents per gallon on gas and 47 cents a gallon on diesel fuel.