(WYTV) – We’ve known the hike in gas taxes was coming ever since Ohio lawmakers approved the increase last April, but now we’re learning how it will impact the bottom lines of a lot of local businesses.
As local gas stations and truck stops are now collecting Ohio’s increased tax on fuel, at least one local businessman is feeling a little blindsided.
“You talk about Robin Hoodin’ somebody? That’s what the government does all the time. It takes money out for a special purpose and it just uses it for a slush fund,” Bill Strimbu said.
The tax on gasoline jumped 10.5 cents as of midnight — 19 cents a gallon for diesel.
For the 120 semi trucks in the fleet at Nick Strimbu, Inc., the costs add up fast.
“We pay tax-based on the amount of miles we run in each state. Twenty-five percent of our miles are run in Ohio,” Strimbu said.
The increase comes at a time when business for trucking companies has been softening, making it tougher for carriers to pass the extra cost onto their customers.
“It’s gonna be tough. We gotta cut our budget, that’s all. We’re gonna have to cut expenses to be able to pay for it,” Strimbu said.
“Our trucks are all diesel so we’re subject to the higher 19-cent tax hike,” said Chris Flynn, who runs Boardman Towing.
Flynn said the increase will hit everyone who uses fuel for their business.
“We get about nine or ten miles per gallon in these tow trucks so they’re not the most fuel-efficient things. We feel it. We go through a lot of fuel.”
When Ohio lawmakers approved the increase, they promised it would raise $865 million to be split between state and local governments to maintain roads and bridges.
“I want to see guys out there paving the streets and fixing our potholes. That’s where it needs to go. If that happens, I won’t be so angry,” Strimbu said.
At this point, he’s stuck watching the cost-per-mile for these rigs go up.