Ohioans’ vehicle registration fee could be hiked 300 percent

(WKBN Photo)

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN/WCMH) – An Ohio senator wants to increase license plate fees by 300 percent because he says the state isn’t making enough money from the gas tax to pay for road repairs.

Senator Bill Coley, of Hamilton, introduced Senate Bill 113, which would charge Ohio drivers $149 a year to register their vehicle.

Right now, drivers are only required to pay $34.50 to the state. A proposal expected to be approved as part of the transportation budget proposes raising that fee to $39.50.

Counties and cities add an extra $20, so it ends up costing around $55.

In return for that hiked-up price, drivers would be issued a card that would exempt them from paying the 28 cents per gallon gas tax.

So, we did the math.

If you have a 14-gallon gas tank, you would have to fill up 29 times a year just to break even on this cost.

Coley said with more fuel-efficient cars on the road, the state just isn’t bringing in enough gas tax money.

“We are consuming fewer and fewer gallons of gas for every mile driven and yet, it’s not getting any cheaper to build roads. How do we address this and not act like Big Brother?” Coley said in a press conference Tuesday, the Dayton Daily News reported.

But the people we spoke with aren’t buying it.

“Twenty-eight cents is not enough. If they had a dollar off…that would have been cool. A dollar off would have been fine,” Jawon Bradley said. “But 28 cents, I don’t think that’s really gonna…help me out in the long run.”

“I don’t really think that would work out for the simple fact, just say, for instance, that you’ve got more than two cars. That’s $300. That’s your rent, almost, in Youngstown,” Travis Donaldson said.

Anthony Smith said people won’t be able to afford the fee.

“What’s going to happen is they’re not going to be driving and if they’re not driving, they’re not buying gas. So you’re losing out on both ends.”

Senate Bill 113 proposes raising the registration fee for commercial cars and trucks to $684.

It would also offer a deal for people in bordering states, like Pennsylvania, who buy gas in Ohio. They could buy a tax exemption card for $149 a year.

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