Last week, the Ohio House of Representatives passed a two-year, $7.9 billion transportation budget (House Bill 62). This comes a few weeks after the DeWine Administration released its initial proposal, notably calling for an 18-cents increase in the state gas tax, indexed to inflation, to address a significant funding shortfall of more than one billion dollars anticipated for road and bridge projects across the state. The Governor’s initial proposal also included increased funding for public transit through the amount of federal funding that could be “flexed” or shifted to support transit projects. The Ohio House ultimately passed a smaller gas tax increase – 10.7-cents phased in over a two-year period, without being indexed to inflation. Further, the House increased federal flex funding for public transit to $200 million over the fiscal year, up from $80 million initially proposed by the Administration. The House also changed the distribution of the gas tax from a 60/40 to a 55/45 split between state and local governments, respectively.
“GCP has long supported a strong public transportation and infrastructure system in our state because of its importance to our economic growth and quality of life,” says Marty McGann, GCP’s Senior Vice President of Government Advocacy. “We applaud the Ohio House for the work they have done and look forward to continued efforts with the Administration and Ohio Senate to make smart investments in public transit and broader infrastructure.”
House Bill 62 is now headed to the Ohio Senate for consideration. By law, the transportation must be signed by the Governor by April 1st.