Ohio house passes bill containing increase in gas tax


Staff/wire report

COLUMBUS

The Ohio House passed a transportation budget bill that includes increases in the state’s gas and diesel taxes to help maintain roads and bridges, but not at the rate requested by Gov. Mike DeWine.

The House passed the bill 71-27 on Thursday. It now heads to the Ohio Senate for consideration.

The bill would increase the gas tax by 10.7 cents per gallon over two years and the diesel tax by 20 cents per gallon over three years. Both increases would start Oct. 1.

DeWine proposed increasing the current 28-cents-per-gallon tax by 18 cents a gallon.

He said the House bill is “far from ideal,” and he plans to work with the Senate to improve it.

Mahoning Valley lawmakers discussed their votes Thursday.

“For too long, our state’s infrastructure and transit needs have been neglected,” said state Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan of Youngstown, D-58th. “Finally, I am proud to support a bipartisan compromise that will increase state funding to public transit by 200 percent, give more money to local governments and create infrastructure jobs across the state. Investing in Ohio’s infrastructure keeps our families safe and our economy competitive, and it will pay off for years to come.”

State Rep. Don Manning of New Middletown, R-59th, said, “After many discussions with local business and labor organizations asking me to support the bill, I made the decision to vote in favor of the legislation.”

State Rep. Michael O’Brien of Warren, D-64th, called it “a bipartisan cooperative budget” that includes $100 million for public transportation and a larger percentage of gas tax for local governments. DeWine proposed $40 million for public transportation.

“This was a stark difference in terms of bipartisanship compared to previous years,” O’Brien said. “Overall, I am satisfied with this budget.”

State Rep. Glenn Holmes of Girard, D-63rd, said, “Nothing’s ever perfect, but we worked together to move a lower [gas tax] number from 18 cents to 10.7 cents. Let’s move Ohio forward. We have to make the investments to improve infrastructure.”

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