House committee bumps DeWine's gas tax increase down to 10.7 cents

Posted at 10:46 PM, Mar 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-05 22:48:53-05

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lawmakers in the House Finance Committee nearly halved Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposed gas tax hike Tuesday, bumping his requested bump of 18 cents per gallon of gasoline down to 10.7.

Diesel would be taxed at a higher rate of 20 cents per gallon. If passed, the hikes would take effect gradually over the course of three years and raise about $872 million each year once fully implemented.

DeWine’s requested amount would have raised about $1.2 billion. The committee also nixed his proposal to let the gas tax rate rise with inflation without the need for legislative approval in the future.

In his State of the State address, DeWine called his bill a “minimalist approach” to patching Ohio’s infrastructural wounds, including 2,600 bridges in poor repair and more than 150 intersections considered dangerous.

“Our families should not be driving on roads that are crumbling and bridges that are failing,” he said. “The state has avoided its responsibility for too long, and now is the time to act. To do anything less is simply irresponsible.”

Among those long-standing infrastructure grievances are the Brent Spence Bridge, which has been waiting for a fix since before President Barack Obama callled for one in 2011, and the Western Hills Viaduct.

Other provisions of the bill include:

  • Providing an additional $70 million for public transit funding throughout the state.
  • Allowing townships and cities to levy an additional $5 vehicle registration fee.
  • Eliminating the state requirement that all vehicles have front license plates.