Ohio governor pushes fuel tax, vehicle fee hike

| Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Ohio Gov. Bob Taft unveiled a plan Friday to boost the state’s fuel tax, driver’s license fees and vehicle registration costs to help fund highway projects.

The plan would increase the state fuel tax by 2 cents a year for three years, according to a statement from the governor’s office. The current tax is 22 cents a gallon.

Taft also wants drivers to pay $5 more to get a license, $5 more to register a vehicle and $15 more to change titles when purchasing a vehicle. After three years, the increase would bring in an additional $402 million in new transportation funds.

Eventually, these fees would completely fund the State Highway Patrol, freeing up about $175 million in fuel taxes for more roadwork.

Without the tax increase, Taft said the transportation budget would bleed dry in two years.

“Many necessary projects now on the drawing boards will not proceed. Congestion will grow more severe. Unsafe road conditions will not be addressed. And our economy will suffer,” he said in prepared remarks.

State lawmakers would have to approve any proposed increases.

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