Ohio passes diesel, gas tax increases effective July 1

For the first time in 14 years, the Ohio Legislature passed a gas tax increase April 4, raising Ohio’s 28-cent gas tax to 38 cents and tax on diesel by 19 cents.

The legislature has slated the funds received through the gas-tax increase for road reconstruction and projects, but drivers who will feel the sting the most are those in the trucking industry. The 19-cent diesel gas tax, totaling 47 cents per gallon, will be effective July 1. The legislature believes the increase for gas and diesel tax will generate close to $865 million for the state’s infrastructure and cost motorist who drive in excess of 15,000 per year nearly $63 in additional gas costs.

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce stated that negotiations between Gov. Mike DeWine and House and Senate leaders compromised on the original proposed increase. The chamber wrote in a blog post that while the Ohio Chamber supports the increase to fund Ohio’s transportation system, it also strongly objected to establishing different rates for gas and diesel fuel.

“So we’re disappointed that the governor and the legislature agreed to a diesel tax increase that’s nearly double the gas tax increase,” the Ohio Chamber of Commerce wrote.

Diesel fuel powers our economy, because it’s what the trucks that deliver Ohio-made products to market run on, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce noted.

“A 1- cent increase on diesel will move Ohio well past the state average of 30.2 cents of tax per gallon and leave us with the sixth highest tax rate on diesel fuel in the country,” the chamber wrote. “This does not make Ohio more competitive and will be damaging to Ohio’s economy and to our businesses. Increased fuel costs lead to higher costs at every point on the supply chain, and businesses will need to look for other costs to cut or raise the prices they charge their customers. Eventually, consumers will feel the pinch, too.”

Detroit resident and trucker Mitchell Stambaugh told WFMJ that the increase will make it harder for truckers to make a living.

“Truckers pay all kinds of taxes on everything it’s just getting ridiculous! You can’t hardly make any money. It’s not good. It’s only going to make the prices of commodities go up,” Stambaugh told WMFJ.

Trucking representatives spoke to the Senate in late March, urging against the increase and stating it would have a harmful effect on the trucking industry. However, the Ohio Trucking Association supported the increase, stating it “was a more attractive alternative to other infrastructure funding options like tolling,” according to an April 10 CDL Life report.

Ed Nagle, president and CEO of Nagle Companies — a small trucking company — told ABC 13 that his company’s trucks drove more than 1 million miles in Ohio in 2018, Ed Nagle.

Nagle, who has been in the trucking industry for more than 30 years, told ABC 13 that this was expected and something he wanted. The additional increase to the diesel gas tax will cost Nagle an additional $29,500 in fuel expenses, which he expects to recoup through surcharges, he told ABC 13.

“The other, remaining $14-$15 thousand dollars, we look at as a good investment in our workplace,” Nagle said.

The additional money will be spend on roads and will help with efficiency and make his company more profitable, Nagle told ABC 13.

“It was a little bit higher than we would have liked,” Nagle said. “We had hoped it’d be phased in over a couple of years, but to us, if we’re going to incur an expense, this is a very valuable expense for us to pay.”

The Ohio Trucking Association stated it worked closely with legislators to pass HB62, saying it had several “benefits for the trucking industry.”

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