Ohio Gas Tax Sleight of Hand

This will be the first in an ongoing series as new information develops on this issue.

DeWine Gas Tax
Unintended Consequences?

When action is required, too often shifting the blame becomes sleight of hand. So it is true regarding the proposed DeWine Gas Tax Increase of 18¢ per 9/10 of a gallon. The blame shift and false focus to draw attention is couched as “it hasn’t been done since 2005” while the hammer of what comes next from the state and federal levels is hidden behind the back of political manipulators.

Diverting our attention using press and emotionalism, DeWine uses the insulting concept that an immediate increase in the gas tax is necessitated by Ohio’s urgent needs in infrastructure improvements. Wait!!! What about the ‘Infrastructure Bill’ in Congress? What is that gong to cost and what analysis has been done on that Bill regarding Ohio, especially the added and compounded tax burden?


At this early stage of the proposal, there are way too many questions that must be taken into account before the State Legislature begins to act. Some of the key questions come from a well written article by Matt Mayer is president of Opportunity Ohio. In his February 24th piece in the Columbus Dispatch from which I pulled out these questions that need be asked of the Governor and the Republicans in particular:

  1. What about the local and State control features of Federalism that should be restored by DeWine: “…champion federalism, with the goal of decentralizing power and money on transportation issues from the federal government to the states.”
  2. What about Labor reform that now cost extra millions of dollars on public projects: “…DeWine and the Republican-controlled General Assembly should eliminate any and all prevailing-wage and project-labor-agreement requirements on all transportation projects in Ohio.”
  3. What’s the Plan? Is what DeWine wants a money grab or is there a true ‘strategic plan’ that is justifiable? “the DeWine administration should provide taxpayers with a long-term estimate on Ohio’s surface-transportation needs.”

Action Items:

Our ‘Action’ regarding this key issue is threefold:

  1. Ask the hard questions of the legislature, the Governor and the bureaucrats that should have the budget and infrastructure information.
  2. Demand to know the ramifications of the pending Federal infrastructure bill respecting Ohio. This will require hard questions to Congressional Representatives in each district and the two Ohio US Senators.
  3. Third consider this in the context of local taxation and the forthcoming ‘Levies’ on the May ballot and what is in the works for November. Once again, the ‘aggregate’ cost of taxation is not being accounted for. Taxing entities, including the State are functioning in a silo, unaware and/ or uncaring about the impact(s) on the tax payer whom they must believe has unendingly deep pockets.


Let’s keep emotionalism at bay and instead develop the concrete facts as to what are the ‘aggregate’ effects of DeWine’s plan in relationship to the greater tax demands on the Citizenry. This is the first opportunity to righteously push back on this new Governor, who has not shown on stitch of real problem solving or intent on reducing the cost of Government. Before DeWine increases taxes, he should be showing where the dollars are going to be spent as well as the impact with or without such expenditures. We must ensure that the needs are real and that belt tightening has been explored FIRST before knee-jerk tax increases are imposed on an already over burdened and over taxed Citizenry.

By the way, I found that the Chair for the Minnesota Republicans (or see link below in resources) had a harsh words for her Governor, albeit a Democrat, yet Governor DeWine is pulling the same antics. Where is the Ohio Republican Chair and county chairs regarding this same issue? They are silent!

Other Current Resources for Consideration:

Gov. Mike DeWine’s 18-cent gas tax plan includes yearly inflation increases – Cleveland.com

Proposed Gas increase NBC4 staff

Interview with Joel Riley on Raising Ohio’s Gas Tax by Matt Mayer

Great Charts and Comparisons – Cincinnati.com – How much would you pay if Ohio’s gas tax rises by 18 cents per gallon? We did the math.

Is Mike DeWine’s call for a gas tax hike a socialist idea? Minnesota Republicans might say so.