ODOT Director Disappointed In Gas Tax Rate Cut By House Panel
The director of the Ohio Department of Transportation isn’t pleased with the decision by the House Finance Committee to cut Governor Mike DeWine’s proposed 18 cent gas tax increase to just under 11 cents. But he’s holding out hope. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.
ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks says the vote to cut the increase on gasoline from 18 cents to 10.7 cents and to make the increase on diesel fuel at 20 cents is disappointing.
“The package right now is inadequate for our needs. What we’re talking about are not only fewer dollars for safety, but we will be very stressed and put upon to maintain our system with the package as is.”
The House Finance Committee also voted remove the index to inflation, meaning the gas tax can’t increase as costs do, and to gradually implement the tax hike. And Marchbanks says that’s a big problem.
“Because it was phased over three years, we end up with a shortfall, actually, in our first year of tens of millions of dollars, just to maintain what we have.”
But Marchbanks – and Governor Mike DeWine as well – are saying that this is a process. Marchbanks says the administration will continue to give lawmakers the facts about the need for the full hike, which would generate $1.2 billion. The proposal the House Finance Committee approved would raise $872 million, split 60-40 with local governments. The plan also directs more federal funds to public transit, taking it from $40 million to $70 million. And it addresses the concerns of people regarding cars that don’t use much gas to set registration fees for electric vehicles at $200, and hybrids $100.