Roadway safety infrastructure association weighs in on DeWine’s proposed gas tax increase
Ohio chapter of ATSSA supports 18-cent gas tax increase to fund infrastructure improvements
The Ohio Chapter of the American Traffic Safety Services Association (OH-ATSSA) urges the Ohio General Assembly to resuscitate Governor DeWine’s original 18-cent per gallon fuel tax increase to address the anticipated shortfall in transportation funding and resources for new projects designed to increase capacity and relieve congestion on Ohio’s roads, as well as maintain and update existing bridges and roadways.
ATSSA’s mission is to advance roadway safety and reduce serious injuries and fatalities on our nation’s roadways and move Toward Zero Deaths. OH-ATSSA is made up of 60 member companies representing the manufacturers, installers and distributors of roadway safety infrastructure devices and services such as guardrail, median cable barrier, traffic control signs, pavement markings, rumble strips, high friction surface treatments, and temporary traffic control devices, among others.
In addition, the Governor’s originally proposal would index the fee annually to the Consumer Price Index going forward. The chapter supports increased user-fees (gas tax, VMT’s, etc.) to fund the maintenance and construction of Ohio’s roadways and bridges, and increased funding and utilization of roadway safety infrastructure devices to prevent crashes. Without an adequate funding increase, the state system will continue to fall in disrepair and become further congested - damaging the overall vitality of our state and the safety of all Ohioans. The primary source of roadway and bridge funding in the state is through the Motor Fuel user fee. At 28 cents-per-gallon, Ohio currently ranks 29th in the country and it is much lower than in other states.
“The state’s gas tax has not been adjusted in 14 years, making the purchasing power of the 28-cent per gallon tax equal to 18-cents in 2018 dollars,” said ATSSA’s Director of State Government Relations Ashley Wieland.
There are also economic benefits to supporting DeWine’s proposed increase. Increased funding for our transportation network means a rise in new construction opportunities in Ohio, as well as jobs for implementing much needed infrastructure repairs on Ohio’s roadways and bridges. Roadway safety infrastructure improvements that prevent crashes and reduce roadway fatalities are low-cost solutions that deliver a high return on investment. Absent new revenue, the Ohio Department of Transportation will have to make significant reductions and eliminate funding for new projects aimed to add capacity and relieve congestion, as well as delay needed maintenance and upgrades to existing bridges and roadways.
“We understand the concerns about increasing the gas tax, but the additional revenue generated will have a major impact on the quality of Ohio’s roadways and the safety of all motorists and pedestrians. As leaders in the roadway safety infrastructure industry, it’s pivotal that we speak up to express support for DeWine’s proposal, as we know that the funding will save lives on our roadways,” said Eric A. Hulme, president of OH-ATSSA chapter and director of the safety department for Area Wide Protective.
OH-ATSSA calls on legislators to reinstate DeWine’s original proposed gas tax increase, and that members of the public contact their state representatives to show their support for the measure.