Ohio considers pause on gax tax amid high prices
Even before the recent spike in gas prices, some Ohio lawmakers wanted to lower the tax you pay every time you fill up at the pump.
Driving the news: There's a renewed focus on the gas tax issue with the average price of gas having surpassed $4 per gallon.
Why it matters: Lowering or suspending the gas tax could save drivers money, but potentially cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars used to improve roads and bridges.
The big picture: Ohio has the seventh-largest gas tax in the nation, per the Federation of Tax Administrators.
- Drivers here pay an extra 38.5 cents per gallon of gas and 47 cents per gallon of diesel fuel.
- Maryland, with the ninth-largest gas tax, recently became the first state to act by approving a law to pause collection for 30 days.
State of play: Republicans in the Ohio Senate are pushing a bill to reduce the tax to 28 cents per gallon for both gas and diesel for the next five years.
- The bill also proposes removing electric and hybrid vehicles' registration fees for those five years.
- A variety of business and financial interests registered to lobby on the bill, records show, including car manufacturers, government associations, a trade group representing truckers and the Ohio-based Marathon Petroleum Corp.
What they're saying: Sen. Stephen Huffman (R-Tipp City), the bill's main sponsor, claimed the money lost by lowering the gas tax would be offset by the federal money flowing to Ohio via the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.
- " ... one thing we can all agree on is that this drastic increase (in gas prices) is causing financial difficulties and stress for Ohioans," Huffman said.
The other side: Gov. Mike DeWine has pushed back, saying the trade-off isn't worth it.
- "I think people would be very surprised if they found in six months that their roads are not being repaired," he recently said, per cleveland.com.
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