Local drivers react negatively to Gov. DeWine’s proposed gas tax increase

Drivers in the Miami Valley want to see improvements in local roads, but don’t believe the 18-cent increase to Ohio’s gas tax proposed by Governor Mike DeWine is the way to do it.

DeWine is asking lawmakers to approve a 18-cent increase in Ohio’s 28-cents-per-gallon gas tax to raise an additional $1.2-billion a year for road and bridge projects statewide.

The tax increase would begin July 1 and then be tied to inflation in future years, allowing it to automatically rise without returning to lawmakers for further approvals. The same 60-40 percentage split would continue between the state and local jurisdictions.

News Center 7’s Monica Castro spoke to local drivers Wednesday night who said the price at the pump is already having enough of an impact on their wallets as it is.

RELATED: Gov. DeWine to ask for higher gas tax

“We pay enough,” Tim Ferrell said.

Ferrell said his car has taken a beating from some roads with potholes and other hazards, leading to costly repairs.

“It turns into $400 to $500 real quick,” he said.

Jessica Livezey, another local driver, said she’s had trouble with area roads herself.

“I hit a huge pothole and had to have my tires replaced,” she said.

RELATED: New details: Gas tax increase would start July 1 if approved

But Livezey said she doesn't want to spend more than she has to at the pump.

“I don’t have a whole lot of money, anyway, so no, I don’t think that’s a good idea,” she said.

According to the governor's plan, the increase would help fund $1.5 billion in construction, maintenance and safety projects for roads and bridges throughout the Buckeye State.

Ohio’s current gas tax is lower than most of the states surrounding it except Kentucky, where the tax is 26 cents per gallon.

Ferrell said he might be open to the idea if improvements to roadways actually happen, but there should be a better way to go about it.

“If it’ll help to fix the roads, I’m all for it,” he said. “But like everybody else, we pay enough taxes on everything. There should be money there to do it.”

DeWine, whose office rolled out his proposal on Wednesday, is to share more details about it Thursday as part of his two-year transportation budget.

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