Senate Cuts DeWine's Gas Tax Hike Even More

Mar 22, 2019

The Ohio Senate has approved a transportation budget increasing the state's gas tax by 6 cents a gallon, down from the House's planned increase of 10.7 cents a gallon and just a third of what Republican Gov. Mike DeWine proposed to maintain roads and bridges.

The GOP-controlled Senate approved its version of Ohio's transportation budget Thursday with a 24-to-6 vote, setting up a showdown with the House and DeWine.

DeWine proposed raising Ohio's current tax of 28 cents per gallon by 18 cents and adjusting it annually for inflation.

The House proposes a 10.7 cents-per-gallon increase for gas over three years, with diesel fuel going up 20 cents a gallon. Neither the House or Senate versions would tie the tax to inflation going forward.

The Senate version also sharply lowered the $100 million the House set aside for public transit project. The Senate cut the public transit earmark to $55 million, which is still higher than the $40 million proposed by DeWine.

The Senate and House must now pass a reconciled transportation budget. Ohio law requires it be signed into law by the governor by the end of March.