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Would you pay more for gas if it meant better roads?

Ohio Headlines

If you already think we pay too much for gas, you may not like this. Ohio lawmakers are considering increasing the state’s gas tax.

Right now, the current tax is set at 28 cents per gallon, which is low compared to surrounding states.

“I drive purposely to Ohio just to come get my gas,” Joshua Smitsky said. “I mean, it’s literally 65 cents cheaper than where I live.”

Smitsky lives in Pennsylvania but he makes the trip over the state line to fill up.

“This is five miles from work and I’d rather drive down here, save the 60 cents,” he said.

But that may change if Ohio lawmakers increase the gas tax.

“The infrastructure throughout the state are really in dire straights,” said Rep. Michael O’Brien (D – OH District 64). “We have a lot of testimony from highway directors and even state patrol director.”

He said the potential increase is long overdue.

“It’s going to be increased. To the degree it’s increased is yet to be determined but my thoughts were at least two or three cents.”

“On a fill-up, that’s $12. I mean, I don’t know about you but I could use the $12,” Smitsky said.

That tax pays for road and bridge repairs but Rep. Don Manning (R – OH District 59) said the money can come from elsewhere. One idea is getting rid of one of two license plates required on cars in Ohio.

“Like all of our surrounding states, I believe, have a single license plate,” Manning said. “That saves $2 million a year.”

O’Brien said even just a one-cent increase would have a huge impact.

“For every penny increased of gasoline tax would raise $67 million,” O’Brien said.

Lawmakers and the governor need hundreds of millions of dollars to fix crumbling roads and bridges.

Currently, Ohio’s tax on gas is 28 cents a gallon. It’s about double in Pennsylvania.

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