The Senate Finance Committee has voted in favor of a bill to let Oklahomans decide the fate of proposed fuel tax increase. Senator Robert Milacek, author of House Bill 2632, said the measure would increase gas prices 5 cents a gallon and diesel fuel taxes by 8 cents a gallon over a three-year period.
Senator Milacek said proceeds of the fuel tax increase would go to repair and maintain Oklahoma’s roads, bridges and highways. The Enid Republican called it one of the most serious problems facing the state.
“We’ve tried for several years to get this proposal passed, and in the meantime our roads and bridges have only gotten worse. I think it is a miracle that a school bus hasn’t crashed through one of our older bridges. I just hope we can do something before a life is lost because of this,” said Milacek.
The Senator said the proposal, which would appear on the November general election ballot, would make Oklahoma just about even with surrounding states in the amount of fuel taxes collected.
“I think there is greater support this year because more people are realizing just how bad some of our roads and bridges have become. We rank first in the nation in unsafe bridges. Many of our highways are in terrible shape. People are more aware that something needs to be done,” said Milacek.
The measure now goes to the full Senate for consideration. If the Senate grants approval, HB 2632 will then move to a conference committee to refine the final wording of the proposal.