Bill would remove vehicle registration fee hike from Ohio budget

Bill would remove vehicle registration fee hike from Ohio budget

House lawmakers are looking to remove a $10 vehicle registration fee hike included in Gov. Mike DeWine’s budget.

Gov. Mike DeWine’s two-year state budget plan included $127 million a year in hikes to the state’s vehicle registration and vehicle title fees. But state lawmakers in the House Finance Committee reworked DeWine’s transportation budget, axing the fee increases from the budget Feb. 25.

Under the changes, the state’s annual vehicle registration fee would stay at $31 for passenger vehicles, before a $5 service fee and additional local taxes. The state’s car title fee would also remain at the current $15.

The original budget included a $10 vehicle registration hike and $2 vehicle title fee hike.

House Bill 74, sponsored by Rep. Scott Oelslager, R-N. Canton, is a substitute for the DeWine budget that makes a number of changes to the governor’s proposal.

DeWine’s budget proposal cut the state’s share of transit funding to $7.3 million from $63 million, with no “flex” funds that primarily go to highway spending. Instead, the House replacement transportation budget increases public transit funding to $97 million annually – allocating $33 million for the state’s share of discretionary “flex” federal funds.

The replacement budget would allocate $193.7 million in transit funding over the next two years, with funding coming primarily from general revenue funds.

House Finance Committee lawmakers also removed a provision from the proposed transportation budget that increased penalties for distracted driving. Oelslager cited precedent for avoiding “anything dealing with criminal law” in budget bills as the reason for removal.

The budget tweaks received bipartisan support, with state Rep. Erica Crawley, D-Columbus, calling the bill “a good start.” House lawmakers are looking to move quickly, as state law requires an approved a state transportation budget by March 31.

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