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Gas Tax Battle in Ohio

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March 11, 2019 – Gas is a hot topic in Ohio. The Ohio House has passed a transportation budget bill that includes increases in the state’s gas and diesel taxes to help maintain roads and bridges. The House passed the bill 71-27. It now heads to the Ohio Senate for consideration. The bill would increase the gas tax by 10.7 cents per gal. over two years and the diesel tax by 20 cents per gal. over three years. Both increases would start Oct. 1.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine proposed increasing the current 28-cents-per-gal. tax by 18 cents a gal. He said the House bill is “far from ideal” and he plans to work with the Senate to improve it. The legislation also would provide public transit with $100 million a year in federal transportation funds. DeWine proposed $40 million.

Sen. Rob McColley, a Northwest Ohio Republican who chairs the Senate committee considering the proposal, said Monday that any increase in the gas tax would need to be offset by a corresponding cut in state income taxes.

He declined to shed light on a specific number, beyond calling a return to the 18 cents a gal. originally sought by DeWine to pay for state road-and-bridge projects “highly unlikely.”