Lawmakers weigh in on Governor’s proposed gas tax increase

Gas tax proposal

TOLEDO (WTOL) - WTOL 11 first reported Tuesday that Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is proposing an increase in the gas tax to pay for road repairs.

While Governor DeWine didn’t give a specific amount, the Ohio Department of Transportation says it’s dealing with a $1 billion deficit. That means it could take a 22 to 24 cent increase per gallon, on top of the 28 cents drivers already pay, to get on top of that deficit.

Ultimately, lawmakers will decide whether or not to raise your taxes.

Republican lawmakers aren’t jumping on board just yet. Senator Theresa Gavarone said she first needs to see the exact proposal, but assures it will be thoroughly debated.

“I have a lot of concerns. For many families, what they pay at the pump affects what they pay for other things, like groceries,” Gavarone said.

The proposal from the governor will come in the transportation budget, which will be introduced in the House.

Representative Derek Merrin said taking care of our infrastructure is important, but there might be another way to pay for the work.

“Using general fund revenue to pay for it; we currently have a surplus in the General Revenue Fund this year and we had one last year and I think that is a viable option,” Merrin said.

Democrat representative Paula Hicks-Hudson said she needs to see the proposal first, but whatever it is, she said it should be a balanced, sustainable approach.

“Ohioans deserve safe roads, but we can’t have our working men and women not be able to put bread and butter on the table,” Hicks-Hudson said.

State Representative, democrat Michael Sheehy said in a statement, “Many of us here in the Statehouse have waited anxiously to hear how the Governor proposes to solve this funding crisis. If a bump in the gas tax is on the table, we must be able to soften the impact of a DeWine tax increase on the working families hit hardest by it.”

Ohio’s gas tax has not increased since 2005. The Governor is expected to provide more details in his two year transportation budget breakdown, Thursday. For a look at how Ohio gas taxes compare to others in the nation, you can look on the tax foundation website.

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