BOARDMAN — Lawmakers have proposed a bill to suspend the state gas tax to relieve Ohioans from soaring prices, but Boardman Township officials say the cut would “devastate » the road service.
Boardman Township Highways Department Superintendent Marilyn Kenner told the board at its Monday meeting that the proposed suspension could put the township at risk of losing gas tax revenue, totaling $650,000. Kenner said the money is being used as local matching for the department’s road resurfacing program.
“This is going to devastate our department,” Kenner said.
Senate Bill 277 would reduce gasoline tax rates by 10 cents to 28 cents per gallon, saving drivers $1.05 for every 10 gallons purchased. The bill would reduce the tax, as well as additional registration fees for hybrid and electric vehicles, for five years. State Sen. Michael Rulli, R-Salem, is listed as one of the bill’s sponsors.
Rising oil prices are already straining road service as the price of petroleum-based products skyrockets, including tires and asphalt. Kenner said the current cost to resurface a mile of road is $150,000.
“With the cost of fuel, we’re paying so much more for everything,” Kenner said.
Township Administrator Jason Loree said the township may have been premature in its concern, but it’s something to watch.
“We use all this to maintain the roads, so if it no longer exists, what do we do? We’ll have to fill that gap,” Loree said, “that’s the situation we’re facing if this thing gets worse, we might be premature now.
The township plans to wait and see what happens to the bill and advice from the Ohio Township Association. Kenner said the OTA has not made a statement regarding the bill.
In other matters, trustees:
∫ Acceptance of a tender from Boak & Sons Inc., of Youngstown, for $581,188 for the replacement of the road service garage;
∫ Approval of a new liquor license for Steel Town Sunrise Deli, 3835 South Ave.;
∫ Authorized the purchase of 11 sets of body armor for the Boardman Police Department for a total of $13,386.