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.