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Government & Politics

DeWine Will Ask Lawmakers to Raise Gas Tax but Won't Say by How Much

photo of Mike DeWine
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine will ask lawmakers this week to raise the state’s 28 cent a gallon gas tax, a recommendation from a committee he appointed. That increase would patch a hole of more than a billion dollars in the Ohio Department of Transportation’s budget. But DeWine won’t yet get specific on what he’ll ask for.

ODOT director Jack Marchbanks has said a 1 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.”

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.