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ODOT Finances Solid Thanks to Gas Tax Hike

gas pump prices
ROSCHETZKY PHOTOGRAPHY
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SHUTTERSTOCK
A 10.5 cent per gallon increase in the gas tax has been in effect for four months.

Ohio’s 10.5 cent gas tax increase from the state’s transportation budget has been in place for four months. And the director of the Ohio Department of Transportation says the money his agency fought lawmakers to get is already making a difference.

Jack Marchbanks says ODOT is on solid financial ground for the first time in years. The gas tax hike will bring in $820 million this fiscal year, and $3.2 billion over the next four years. But Marchbanks says the agency didn’t overshoot in asking for nearly twice that when it first proposed the gas tax increase.

“When we asked for 18 cents early on, that was for a 10-year horizon. So we have great comfort in the fact that we will be able to take care of the system for the next four to five years,” Marchbanks said.

Marchbanks says the funds from the tax increase are helping to deal with 150 intersections and other areas identified as safety problems. Construction is already underway to fix more than 90 of them.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.