While I commend the Lima News editorial board for weighing in on the important topic of the infrastructure crisis the state is in, I believe they got it wrong. The title should have been “DeWine chooses the courageous road with gas-tax proposal.”
Gov. DeWine came into office to find Ohio’s infrastructure funding was in a crisis. Instead of cowering to the challenge, the governor held true to his campaign promise and put together a blue-ribbon committee on infrastructure. The committee heard testimony on the needs and the potential solutions and efficiently made their recommendations to the administration.
The Ohio Trucking Association, who represents over 1,000 companies in the logistics industry, testified in support of increasing the fuel tax as the preferred solution to address the problem and we did so for a number of reasons. It’s a highly efficient collection method with an administrative cost of less than one percent, it is Constitutionally protected to go back into roads and bridges, and it is paid by the trucking industry to the state in which the fuel is used not by where it is purchased. It is truly a user-based fee.
High-quality roads and bridges are critically important to our industry and to Ohio’s overall economic vitality. The Ohio Trucking Association and the Ohio Association of Movers supports a long-term plan proposed by Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration to invest in Ohio’s highways and bridges, and our membership stands with a coalition of local government officials, public safety groups, local chambers, business and industry stakeholders to move this plan forward.
Failing to move forward with a plan to make strategic investments in our roads and bridges for the years to come will compromise our industry’s ability to move Ohio-made goods to other parts of the country. As long as it doesn’t negatively impact our state’s overall economic competitiveness among other states in the region, we believe an increase in Ohio’s motor fuel use tax is the best approach to maintain and improve our state and local roadways.
Thomas A. Balzer is the president and CEO of the Ohio Trucking Association.