There are some big changes in the transportation budget passed by the House compared to the proposal from Gov. Mike DeWine, who has said an 18 cent gas tax hike is needed to maintain and repair Ohio’s roads.
The House version of the transportation budget dropped the tax hike to 10.7 cents, increased the tax on diesel slightly to 20 cents, and erased the index to inflation. But lawmakers changed their plan to a two-year phase in instead of three years.
House Speaker Larry Householder said the DeWine administration, which has said the House plan is inadequate, requested the change.
“It actually mattered whether it was phased in over three years or whether it was phased in over two years. Even the number itself – 7 cents in lieu of 5 cents – made a difference.”
ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks said a three-year phase in would leave the agency with a shortfall of tens of millions of dollars in the first year of the budget.
The transportation budget now goes to the Senate, and must be signed by March 31.