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Ohio House passes budget bill proposing increased fuel taxes

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Posted at 10:27 AM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-07 15:03:44-05

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — 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 Thursday by a vote of 71-27. It now heads to the Ohio Senate for consideration.

The bill now proposes to increase the gas tax by 10.7 cents per gallon over two years and the diesel tax by 20 cents per gallon over three years. Both would start Oct. 1.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine proposed increasing the current 28-cents-per-gallon tax by 18 cents a gallon. He's said the House bill's tax increase isn't enough for needed repairs and construction.

The legislation approved Thursday also would provide public transit with $100 million a year in federal transportation funds. DeWine proposed $40 million.

Highlights of the state transportation budget bill approved by the Ohio House include:

— A 10.7-cents-per-gallon increase to the current 28-cents-per-gallon gas tax over two years, starting Oct. 1. The bill reported out of the House Finance committee on Wednesday night had called for the increase to be phased in over three years.

— A 20-cents-per-gallon increase to the current 28-cents-per-gallon diesel tax over three years, starting Oct. 1.

— Providing $100 million a year in federal transportation funding to public transit.

— Splitting revenue from the fuel taxes, with the Ohio Department of Transportation to receive 55 percent and 45 percent to go to local governments.

— A yearly registration fee on alternative-fuel vehicles including $200 for electric vehicles and $100 for hybrids.

— Requiring only one license plate on a vehicle, in the back.

— Allowing municipalities and townships to levy an additional $5 motor vehicle registration fee.

— Regulation by the state of light-weight electric scooters including age limits, speed restrictions and other provisions.