Governor Mike DeWine proposes raising Ohio’s gas tax by 18 cents per gallon and indexing it to inflation so that it will automatically change annually based on inflation.
The proposal, which would need approval by the Ohio legislature to take effect, would initially increase the gas tax to 46 cents per gallon starting July 1 and raise an additional $1.2 billion annually.
State gas tax revenue can only be used for construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair of public highways and bridges.
The state keeps 60 percent of gas tax revenues and sends 40 percent to counties, cities, villages and townships, according to an Ohio Department of Transportation news release.
Each of the state’s 88 counties gets an equal share of the gas tax, currently a $2.4 million allocation. If the 18 cent increase is approved, counties would each get an additional estimated $1.77 million in the first year, according to ODOT.
The amount that goes to the local municipalities is based on the number of motor vehicles registered in each one. For townships the state calculates the share based on the vehicle registrations and the number of center-line roadway miles in the township.
If the higher tax is approved, Dayton, Kettering, Beavercreek, Huber Heights and Mason would gain the largest increases in funding between state fiscal year 2020 and 2024 among the local jurisdictions in Montgomery, Greene, Miami and Warren counties, according to data provided by ODOT.
Ohio proposed gas tax increase: State fiscal years 2020-2024
Estimated revenues in Greene, Miami, Montgomery and Warren counties, using cents per gallon (cpg) indexed for inflation estimate by state fiscal year (SFY).
Source: Ohio Department of Transportation
House Bill 62 is the state transportation budget bill, detailing how Ohio should spend $7.4 billion over two years.
The House Finance Committee will continue hearings on the bill and consider amendments before recommending it to the full House for a floor vote.
The Senate Finance Committee will then take up the bill, consider amendments and send it to the full Senate.
If the House doesn’t agree to Senate changes, legislative leaders will appoint a conference committee to iron out differences. Then both chambers need to agree to the final version and send it to DeWine.
DeWine will have line-item veto power because it is a spending bill. He is expected to sign it into law by March 31 so it can take effect July 1 when the new fiscal year begins.
Staff writer Laura A. Bischoff contributed to this report
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