By KAREN KASLER
After just two hearings and two hours of public testimony, the panel appointed to recommend solutions to the funding crisis at ODOT is leaning toward one conclusion – the gas tax should be increased.
The panel heard testimony that approved of increasing the gas tax, including from Tom Balzer from the Ohio Trucking Association. He said truckers pay more than a third of the gas taxes but drive only ten percent of the miles – and the average non-trucker should expect to pay more than just a 28 cent gas tax.
“That’s what we’re talking about, is investing in the biggest asset this country has and this state has. And all we’re investing as an Ohioan is $11.41 a month,” Balzer said.
But public transportation advocates, who were not represented among the 15 members of the committee, also asked the panel to find ways to fund mass transit.
No specifics on a tax increase were offered by the panel, which will release a report soon.