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Gas Tax: The Bill Comes Due

The owner of a home, car, or almost anything more complex than a rock knows that sooner or later, it’s going to need repairs and maintenance.

Repairs and maintenance can be put off, but doing so not only postpones the inevitable, it can actually raise the cost of the repair.

Ohio now faces that situation with roads. Repairs and improvements must be made, and the state doesn’t have the money. There’s a $1.5-billion shortfall.

To get the additional money, Ohio must raise the tax charged on motor fuel– gasoline and diesel fuel. For too long, politicians have put off facing up to the gas tax hike.

Mike DeWine, new governor of Ohio, got stuck holding the bag. He’s behind a proposed 18 cents-per-gallon tax hike. He must be given credit for stepping up and putting forward what is sure to be an unpopular measure.

If approved by the state legislature, paying 46 cents per gallon in state taxes alone on a gallon of gas will be a hard pill to swallow. But the alternative– driving on bad roads and bridges– could be much more expensive.

A large pothole could damage vehicle suspensions; a collapsed bridge would cost lives.

Whether we pay it today or put it off until tomorrow, the bill comes due.

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