XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) – There’s been a lot of talk about what the gas tax could means for drivers’ wallets. But for the city of Xenia, the extra money could go a long way in helping them maintain their roadways.
Xenia city manager Brent Merriman says Ohio’s new gas tax could mean an additional $500 million dollars for the city to spend on road improvements.
“We expect it could be in the realm of a half a million dollars a year in additional funding which for our community would be a significant increase in what we could put toward roadway reconstruction and resurfacing,” Merriman said.
“I use the same roadways, my car takes the same wear and tear – we all recognize that we got to do more to improve this and it really is a resource issue.”
The transportation bill passed by the Ohio House includes increases in gas and diesel taxes. The money will go to cities, townships, and counties to help maintain roads and bridges.
The bill proposes to increase the gas tax by a little more than 10 cents per gallon over two years and the diesel tax by 20 cents per gallon over three years.
“Folks are going to feel that on a weekly basis, everyone’s got to fill up,” Merriman said of the tax increase. “But those resources would be a valuable addition to what we have today which is generally an under-funding.”
Last year, more than half of Xenia voters said no to a road levy that would have generated more than a million dollars towards road improvements. The revenue from the gas tax isn’t nearly as much money as that, but it could help.
“What the gas tax has done would compensate for part of what we had asked our voters for,” Merriman said.
If approved by the Ohio Senate, the gas tax would begin in October.