Builders, contractors and paving companies are seeking exemptions from Ohio’s commercial activity tax (CAT), arguing that it diverts $140 million a year from road and bridge repair.
In a lawsuit that reached Ohio’s Supreme Court this week, an excavating company alleges that the state constitution bars money raised from the sale of fuel being used on anything but highway upkeep.
The state argues that the tax is not on gasoline itself but on companies that make money selling fuel.
OSCPA is part of an amicus brief filing in support of the state’s position.
"The CAT relates to doing business, and it does not 'relate to' motor fuels any more than it relates to selling food, widgets, or anything else," Stephen Carney, an assistant Ohio attorney general, said in a May 9 filing with the court.
The debate doesn't involve the 28-cent state gasoline tax whose revenues are distributed automatically to the state, counties and local governments for road work.