Ohio lawmakers consider hefty gas tax hike

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It’s been 14 years since Ohio raised the rate of tax on motor fuel.

But in those 14 years, fuel efficiency, electric and hybrid cars, and rising costs of materials to maintain, repair and replace roads have widened the gap in funding for road infrastructure.

“We look at it as a user fee for the roads, because you’re taxing folks directly who are using those roads,” explained Washington County Engineer Roger Wright on Monday. “But as cars are getting more fuel efficient and people are switching to hybrids and electrics, they’re not paying that as much or as often.”

The current proposal sitting before Ohio legislators is a house bill to raise the rate of tax from 28 cents per gallon to 46 cents per gallon.

“That affects everybody, even people who don’t drive,” said Travis Wells, of Whipple as he filled up a tank for his employer, Morrison’s, on Monday. “I know it would affect the business since a lot of what we do is driving between places we service and someone will have to pay for that higher cost.”

Hearings today, Wednesday and Thursday are before the House Finance Committee on the fiscal year 2020-2021 transportation budget, House Bill 62 and the proposal to raise Ohio’s motor fuel tax by 18 cents.


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