The state cuts a check for more than a million bucks every month for highways and other infrastructure in Allen County.

That million plus dollars comes from gas taxes collected by the state and federal government.

President Biden is currently weighing whether to support a federal gas tax holiday, which would temporarily suspend the 18.4-cent gas tax.

If the gas tax is reduced, that money could affect infrastructure projects, said Allen County Highway director Bill Hartman and Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters.

Hartman says the millions it receives from the state is supplemented by $6.7 million set aside by the commissioners from the local LIT tax.

Right now, money from the federal Build Back Better program will offset any losses, should they happen.

Peters said those federal funds will also help beat back the 8% inflation that could produce a shortage.

“The other side is construction prices increasing to the extent they are. We don’t plan projects based on an 8% inflation rate,” Peters said.

Hartman says any long term reduction in the gas tax could affect the infrastructure money.

The 61 cents you pay in gas tax splits in three ways: 28 cents to the state, 18 cents to the feds and 23 cents from the state’s 7 % sales tax, figures he got from David Long, former State Senate president who helped craft the gas tax bill.

Allen County has 1,300 miles of state roads and four pages of highway projects, Hartman said.

The biggest project is a mile stretch on Bass Road from Scott to Hadley roads, Hartman said. The $11 million project will go to bid in December, but the feds are kicking in $8.8 million. That means the county pays $2.2 million.

“We couldn’t afford to do that on our budget,” Hartman says.

The worry might be all for naught.

If Biden does support the gas tax holiday, it would be temporary. As for the state tax, state Democrats have been calling since March for a temporary gas tax suspension, only to be rebuffed by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and the GOP-dominated Legislature. Holcomb said last month it would be “misguided” to cut the gas tax, and agreed with Republican legislative leaders that doing so would be an inefficient way of helping residents.

Charts from Allen County auditor Nick Jordan indicate the gas tax money has grown in the last seven years. In 2015, the county received about $9 million dollars and in 2017, that amount was $8.9 million. In 2019, the amount was 12.4 million and last year, the amount was $13.2 million.

This year, the amount is on track to be $13.1 million, the chart said.

“We get monthly checks for distribution,” Hartman explained. The amount is based on the county’s road miles which change with development. The money is divvied up based on population, the number of registered vehicles and road miles, he added.

The city also depends on the gas tax to help fund infrastructure projects.

City spokesman John Perlich said there have been several proposals to suspend the gas tax.

“Some of our local infrastructure projects like the recently completed realignment of State Boulevard or the widening of Dupont Road, receive federal aid that includes revenues from the gas tax,” Perlich wrote in an email. “When some funds have shortfalls, such as the Highway Trust Fund, there may be transfers to make sure that projects continue. It’s too early to tell until more details come out about how a reduced gas tax is implemented to determine the impact on future projects or programs,” Perlich said.