Behind every silver lining is a dark cloud. Yes, even what we think of as good things, sometimes aren’t what they appear.
Take electric and hybrid vehicles for instance. Who would have thought that they would have such a big impact on area roadways. But not in the way most people think.
During the quarterly meeting of the Northwest Ohio Commissioners & Engineers Association on Monday, officials from around the region heard about how electric and hybrid vehicles are affecting the amount of gas tax counties receive.
Now officials say they need to look closely at that problem.
The Ohio gas tax, which is 28 cents per gallon, is used to help fund roads and bridges throughout the state.
The federal gas tax is 18.4 cents and is one of the revenue sources for the Highway Trust Fund.
According to the Ohio Department of Taxation, the gas tax revenue in the state went from $35.7 million in fiscal year 2011 to $31.2 million in fiscal year 2012. Reduced gas consumption, of which electric and hybrid vehicles are just one part, is the reason for the decline in revenue.
Now, in order to make up the difference, some lawmakers want to implement a vehicle mileage tax.
The tax works by having drivers pay a set amount per mile. The state of Oregon is already testing such a system.