Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) proposed an 18-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase on Feb. 20 that would commence July 1, 2019, and be annually adjusted with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to compensate for inflation beginning the following year. However, the rate would not be adjusted if CPI decreases but would instead remain the same as the preceding year.
If approved, the gas tax would be raised to 46 cents per gallon, in fiscal year 2020, roughly equating to $750 million for Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and $1.6 million for every county in the state. This comes as part of a $7.43 billion transportation budget put forth to the House Finance Committee.
ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks, in introducing the budget, warned legislators of an impending transportation crisis and said there will be no funds for transportation improvement projects if a solution is not implemented. The state’s road maintenance contracts, which totaled $2.4 billion in 2014, could dip as low as $1.5 billion in 2020 due to a $1 billion funding gap.
The bill has received mixed reactions from Ohio lawmakers.