COLUMBUS -- The Ohio Supreme Court has heard arguments from builders, contractors and paving companies that a tax on motor fuel sales unconstitutionally diverts $140 million a year from road and bridge repair.
An excavating company alleges in a lawsuit that reached the court Wednesday that the state constitution bars money raised from the sale of fuel being used on anything but highway upkeep.
At issue is a 2005 rewrite of Ohio's tax code that taxes a wide variety of business activity, not just a company's revenue.
The state argues that the tax is not on gasoline itself but on companies that make money selling fuel.
The debate does not involve the 28-cent state gasoline tax whose revenues are distributed automatically to the state, counties and local governments for road work.
AP Legal Affairs Writer
The Associated Press