Tax Data Series

MOTOR VEHICLE FUEL TAXES: Amounts Distributed to Municipalities and to All Local Governments, by County, Calendar Year 2018

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.

Effective January 1, 2017, a single 28 cents per gallon levy replaced the five separate levies that totaled 28 cents.  The allocation of the tax is done in specified fractions that correspond with the five prior distinct levies.  The revenue from the single 28 cent levy is subject to the five differing distribution amounts.  For a detailed explanation of the distribution of revenue, consult the motor vehicle fuel tax section of the Department of Taxation’s Annual Report.

In calendar year 2018, distributions to local governments from the motor vehicle fuel tax were approximately $583.8 million. Of this amount, approximately $246.9 million went to municipalities, approximately $124.1 million to townships, and approximately $212.7 million went 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 $988 in the Village of Miltonsburg (Monroe County) to $26,267,293 in the City of Columbus (Franklin County).

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