House, Senate Raise Gas Tax Total To 38.5 Cents A Gallon

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Members of the Ohio House and Senate reached a deal to raise the gas tax by 10.5 cents beginning in July. The lawmakers say that will be enough to help Ohio close a funding gap for construction on the state’s roads and bridges.

The transportation budget bill, which passed both chambers Tuesday afternoon, brings the state gas tax total to 38.5 cents a gallon. The deal also included a 19-cent increase to the diesel fuel tax. These hikes are projected to generate about $865 million a year in revenue for Ohio’s infrastructure. The state will get $524 million of that revenue for construction projects, the rest will go to local governments.

House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) says, after weeks of debate on the issue, they think this strikes the right balance.

“The state made a case that between $500 to $550 million was what they needed in the first year and this reached that goal, and it provided a lot of critical money needed by the locals as well. So yeah, I was pleased with this,” Householder says.

Gov. Mike DeWine first proposed an 18-cent increase to the gas tax, saying this would help bridge an expanding budget gap in the Ohio Department of Transportation’s construction funds.

ODOT said it needed to generate an average of $1 billion annually over the course of 10 years.

The transportation budget bill included $70 million for public transportation and also got rid of Ohio’s two-license plate rule, allowing vehicles to have just one license plate in 2020.