Last week, this newspaper published an article about Ohio Farm Bureau opposition to leasing the Ohio Turnpike.
The Farm Bureau is opposed to a lease, but if John Kasich, Ohio governor, decides to lease it, Farm Bureau wants firm agreements, in writing.
With no reservations the Archbold Buckeye believes the State of Ohio should keep ownership of the priceless toll road.
The consulting firm studying the turnpike should have the $3.8 million “opportunity analysis” completed soon, with recommendations for “unlocking value” from the toll road.
It may recommend a number of things, including placing the turnpike under the control of the Ohio Department of Transportation. State officials could then sell bonds for road projects all over the state. Money from tolls would make the bond payments.
Under that scheme, every time a motorist pays a toll on the turnpike, part of the money goes to support some project somewhere else.
Since northern Ohio is the only part of the state that has a toll road, northern Ohio motorists who drive the turnpike will be unfairly assessed for road projects elsewhere on top of the gasoline taxes they already pay for those same projects.
What’s wrong with the current system? Motorists who use the toll road pay the entire cost of the turnpike. What’s more fair than that?