DeWine Says He'll Ask Lawmakers For Gas Tax Hike Thursday

Feb 19, 2019

Gov. Mike DeWine will ask for a raise the state’s 28 cent a gallon gas tax, a recommendation from a committee he appointed. But DeWine won’t yet get specific on what he’ll ask for.

The DeWine administration says there's a hole of more than a billion dollars in the Ohio Department of Transportation’s budget.

ODOT director Jack Marchbanks has said a one-penny increase in the gas tax would raise $67 million, with $42 million going to the state.

In a session with reporters sponsored by the Ohio Associated Press, DeWine was asked several times about a gas tax hike – and while he wouldn’t give a number, he did hint that the increase is likely to be significant.

“Certainly the minimal we should do is keep the status quo. I don’t think anyone wants to see Ohio move backwards. If you don’t hit that $1.5 billion mark, you’re not keeping up," DeWine said.

Some have estimated the gas tax would have to nearly double to raise more than a billion dollars.

DeWine says he learned ODOT was having a financial problem during last year’s campaign for governor, but didn’t have the full measure of it until now.