Tax Data Series

Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax

Amounts Distributed to Various Local Government Units, by County, Calendar Year 2012

All motor vehicle fuel taxes are collected by the state and distributed among state and local governmental units according to statutory formula. Motor fuel tax revenues are required by the Ohio Constitution to be used only for highway purposes.  The current motor fuel tax rate per gallon, effective July 1, 2005, is 28 cents.

The total 28 cents per gallon rate is actually composed of five separate levies: two levies of two cents each; one levy of eight cents; one levy of one cent; and a cents per gallon rate of 15 cents. Each of these levies is distributed in a different manner.  For a detailed explanation of the distribution of revenue, consult the motor vehicle fuel tax section of the Department of Taxation’s Annual Report: http://www.tax.ohio.gov/divisions/communications/publications/documents/motor_vehicle_fuel_tax.pdf

In calendar year 2012, distributions to local governments from the motor vehicle fuel tax were $553.3 million. Of this amount, $234.1 million went to municipalities, $117.7 million to townships, and $201.6 million to county governments.

Under Ohio law, each county receives an equal motor fuel tax distribution. In contrast, distributions to townships vary because each township’s distribution is based on the larger amount produced by two alternative formulas. Finally, municipal distributions vary because they are based on each municipality's proportionate share of motor vehicle registrations. The municipal distributions range from $1,187 in the Village of Patterson (Hardin County) to $23,114,878 in the City of Columbus (Franklin County).

These figures have been compiled from records of the Ohio Department of Taxation, Revenue Accounting Division.