After considerable debate, the Ohio Senate passed their version of the state’s two-year transportation budget. The Senate cut the proposed gas tax hike to 6 cents/gallon.

This is lower than the House version which contained a 10.7 cent tax hike, and considerably lower than Governor DeWine’s initial 18 cent/gallon proposal.

Other notable aspects of the Senate Transportation Bill include:

  • An increase to the Ohio Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • $55 million per-year for Ohio’s public transit systems. This is nearly half of the Ohio House’s proposed $100 million, but still higher than Governor DeWine’s $40 million proposal.
  • A two-license plate requirement per-vehicle. The house version of the bill eliminated the front license plate requirement.
  • A re-distribution of fuel tax revenue, with Ohio Department of Transportation receiving 55% and local governments receiving 45%. Currently the distribution is 60/40.
  • A $75 dollar fee for hybrid vehicle owners and a $175 fee for electric vehicle owners.
  • A requirement for gas stations to notify customers of the motor fuel tax rate, the date it was most recently increased, and how Ohio ranks regarding gas tax rates among neighboring states.


The Ohio Senate has responsibly mitigated the damage a gas tax hike would cause in Ohio by reducing it to a third of the Governor’s original proposal. Ohio legislators must not lose focus of an offsetting income tax cut, as Senate President Larry Obhof and Senator McColley have suggested.

ATR President Grover Norquist wrote in the Columbus Dispatch Sunday that while the Senate has made great progress, offsetting tax cuts still should be found to avoid increasing the state’s overall tax burden.

The General Assembly only has until March 31st to pass a transportation budget, and the Senate’s version now goes to the House who will most likely reject it, beginning a process of the two chambers negotiating the bill’s details. For more information on the Ohio gas tax hike, and to contact your legislators regarding it, please visit Ohioans for Tax Reform.