Republican leaders in the Ohio Senate released their version of the transportation budget bill Tuesday. Their proposal makes dozens of changes to what the Ohio House passed in HB62, although the gas tax increase went untouched for now.
The House passed a 10.7-cent increase to the gas tax over the next two years. That means a driver would pay 38.7 cents a gallon in state tax when they fill up their tank.
State Sen. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) says it's very likely that will change soon.
“The only issue is, we have not had a chance in the limited time that we’ve had to really develop our final version of that tax package,” McColley says. “So the House version of the sub bill is left unchanged, but nobody interpret that as the Senate accepting the House package. We are likely to change it.”
Gov. Mike DeWine says the state needs an 18-cent gas tax hike in order to generate the amount of money the state needs in infrastructure construction costs. He also wanted to adjust the tax annually for inflation, but the Ohio House removed that measure as well.
The Senate also left unchanged $100 million to public transportation, but there’s talk that proposal may also be reduced.
The Senate Transportation Committee is expected to make their changes to the gas tax increase through an amendment that could be introduced later this week.