ZANESVILLE, Ohio – There are always roads that need fixing, but without an increase in funding for the transportation department that could be difficult to do.
Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz has been selected to sit on the Governor’s advisory committee for transportation infrastructure. He said the department is at a critical point of having the available budget to maintain the roads in Ohio. Sheriff Lutz said they have spent the past two days discussing solutions to the issue, the most obvious solution being to raise the gas tax.
“Right now Ohio is only at $0.28 on gas tax per gallon of gas and we are the lowest out of all of our neighboring states,” said Sheriff Lutz.
Sheriff Lutz said currently 6 percent of the gas tax goes to ODOT for road improvements and maintenance and that 40 percent goes back to the townships, counties, and municipalities. He said if no changes are made, it is going to be very hard to keep roads in safe conditions for drivers.
“Obviously for us it’s about safety,” said Sheriff Lutz. “If our roadways aren’t safe to travel on that causes a lot of safety issues for our citizens.”
Sheriff Lutz said the committee will send their recommendation to the Governor’s office about increasing gas tax by the end of March, however it could be the end of the year before citizens see any changes at the pumps.