Many Ohio drivers filled up their tanks Sunday, the day before the state’s 10.5-cent gas tax increase goes into effect.
Governor Mike DeWine has previously said the increase is needed to fund road and bridge improvements.
The gas tax is set to increase by 10.5 cents Monday, and the diesel tax will go up by 19 cents. It’s the state’s first gas tax hike since 2005.
Drivers waited in lines Sunday at a Costco gas station in Sugarcreek Township.
“There’s nothing you can do about it, so you may as well maximize what we can while we can,” said Ron Coleman, who lives in Bellbrook.
The tax increase is expected to generate at least $865 million per year, according to state officials.
Of those funds, 55 percent will go to the state government, and the rest will go to local governments, officials have said.
Ohio Department of Transportation officials have previously said the tax hike will help address a $1 billion budget shortfall.
Basil Drew, who lives in Washington Township, said he believes the state needs the money but feels the increase will make a big impact on drivers.
“I think it’s necessary for state funding and for things to get paid for,” Drew said. “It seems to be a little harsh.”
Some people who spoke with 2 NEWS said they hope to see the additional funding put to good use.
“I’ll have to wait and see, see if anybody actually does anything with the money, see where it goes, if it’s diverted,” said Tom Tisler, who lives in Beavercreek.
Although ODOT spent more than $500,000 on tornado cleanup, the agency recently announced it would not have to push back projects since it will receive additional funding from the gas tax increase.