May 18, 2020

Coronavirus shutdown period likely to impact gas tax distribution

Coronavirus shutdown period likely to impact gas tax distribution

There were a lot fewer fill-ups when people were sheltering at home and thousands more were unemployed and not driving to and from work.

Gas tax distribution from the state generally lags two to three months behind. The county’s most recent distribution was actually higher than a year ago, but that was for receipts in February. So the vacation season will be the important months.

“If this stays through the summer, it could be a significant impact on gas tax-wise. But I think it’s a little early for me to predict that,” Mahoning County Engineer Pat Ginetti said.

He says the statewide impact on loans could end up delaying the county’s summer road resurfacing program, but says that’s better than not getting funded.

“You know a delay makes our job harder and makes it worse on the travelers, but if you know that it’s coming there’s at least a silver lining,” said Ginetti.

Local township governments are holding their breath to learn what the overall tax impact may be.

“Unfortunately, we’ve got notices from some of the areas that tell us that we may be getting less by 10 percent to about 27 percent,” Ken Carano, Austintown Township Trustee said.

Carano says if that happens, there’s no doubt they’ll have to lay people off.

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