LIMA — Larry Householder, Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, threw his support behind the recent gas tax increase and proposed school funding reform at the Allen County Republican Luncheon Friday.
Alongside Householder at the meeting were State Rep. Bob Cupp and Ohio State Sen. Rob McColley. Householder commended Cupp on continuing the efforts of school funding.
“We came up with a great formula. I guess when I left, it left,” Householder said. “We look very much forward to working on school funding in the next couple of weeks and, Chairman, I’ve made a pledge to you before privately, but we’re going to get it done this time. We’re going to make a difference in kids’ lives.”
Householder also shared that through conversations with Gov. Mike DeWine, he knew DeWine didn’t want to have to increase the gas tax, but he thought it is what is needed.
“Our road systems are changing, and our cars are changing and they’ve become more fuel efficient,” Householder said. “That’s part of the reason we are running out of revenue is because cars are becoming more fuel efficient and we’ve been flat funded as far as revenue for the last 15 years, but our costs have continued to escalate because of inflation.
“We know that less and less we’re going to be able to count on the motor vehicle tax to support our highways,” he added. “Constitutionally, that’s the only way that we can pay for roads and bridges in the state of Ohio is through our motor vehicle tax. We don’t want to steal it from a rainy day fund, we don’t want to take it out of the operating fund, we want to make sure it stays with the gas tax and the motor vehicle tax because that is the way that you drive efficiency is to make sure funds are earmarked directly to expenses.”
Householder said it’s also important to acknowledge the upcoming elections, calling himself a “huge Donald Trump fan.”
“They tried to prosecute him, they tried to persecute him, they tried to ridicule him,” Householder said. “He has stood by us, and stood by our country and stood by our flag and stood by our God, and it is time, here next year in the state of Ohio, right here in Trump country, we have to stand up for Donald Trump.”
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.