The major sources of funding for the Allen County Engineer’s Office are License Plate Fees and Gasoline Taxes. Prior to the approved increase in 2019, the license plate fees had remained the same since 1968. The license plate fee is divided up and disbursed to the county engineer, townships, and municipalities based upon a a statutory formula. Gasoline tax the other major source of funding. Although motorist pay approximately 40 cents in taxes for each gallon of gasoline purchased, the county engineers receive only 1.9 cents of this gas tax. The majority of the tax is dedicated to the state and federal governments.
Allen County Engineer’s Office Funding
Other sources of funding utilized by the Allen County Engineer are federal funds, Issue 2 funds, permissive license tax, court fines, interest, and road permits. Matching Federal funds and Issue 2 funds are secondary sources of funding that have helped the county engineer stretch local funds without increases in the gasoline tax or license fees. These funds must be applied for and come with strict rules and requirements to utilize them. Unfortunately, due to competition from other counties and cities these funds are getting harder to acquire and take a long time to utilize. A typical federally funded project may take up to 8 years to be completed due to all of the plan reviews and requirements. Issue 2 projects are funded by the sale of bonds by the state and are administered by the Ohio Public Works Commission and its local District 13 Committee.
A common misconception is that the county engineer receives funds from property taxes, county sales tax or the county general fund. While the tax map office was once funded from the general fund, no general fund money, sales tax money or property tax money has been used in recent years for road and bridge maintenance in Allen County.
Funding for the engineering, construction and maintenance of county petitioned ditch projects comes from separate funds set up from assessments to landowners within the watershed of those ditches. These funds are set up by law to be used on ditch projects and may not be used for any other purpose.
Due to limited sources of funding, increased costs of fuel and materials and no increases to gasoline tax in recent years, the Allen County Engineer’s office has been forced to reduce its work force from 77 employees in 1975 to around 55 employees in recent years.