One day after Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof said the state might not really be facing a road-funding problem, the leader of the Ohio House made it clear he sees the situation differently.

"I don’t think there’s any question that there’s a revenue issue," said Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford, adding that the annual shortfall is probably $850 million to $1 billion. That is in line with the shortfall that Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration has laid out.

Ohio’s gasoline tax of 28 cents per gallon has not increased since 2005. Although people are driving more, Householder said, vehicles are more fuel-efficient, flattening revenue. "Just inflation alone has driven up the cost of any materials we use in road construction, as well as the labor we have that would pay for people to do the construction."

As part of his transportation budget, DeWine proposes a gas-tax increase of 18 cents per gallon starting July 1. It would raise $1.2 billion per year, to be divided between the state and Ohio’s local governments. DeWine also wants the tax to rise with inflation.

With no new revenue, the state has no money for continuing major infrastructure projects, the state transportation director says.

Householder did not commit to what changes the House plans to make to DeWine’s proposal, but he has indicated a willingness to raise more revenue.

Obhof, R-Medina, has been more resistant, questioning whether a revenue problem exists and suggesting that he might want to kick the gas-tax discussions out of the transportation budget into a separate bill or into the upcoming operating budget so it can be part of a broader tax package that uses income-tax cuts to offset a gas-tax increase.

But Householder said the House has not talked about passing offsetting tax cuts.

And regarding road funding, he said: "I think you have to recognize that we have had a long-term problem for a number of years in the state of Ohio, and you cannot solve the problem with a short-term fix. If so, you are just kicking the can down the road."

Householder also showed no interest in moving the gas tax out of the transportation budget.

"The Senate can do whatever the Senate wants, but as far as the House is concerned, we’ve got a long-standing history that the motor-fuel tax in Ohio constitutionally pays for road and bridges, and the proper place for that is in the transportation budget," he said.