Six liberal governors are calling on congressional lawmakers to suspend the federal gas tax of 18.3 cents to ease the burden of soaring prices on Americans.
The governors — five of whom are up for re-election in November — are Jared Polis of Colorado, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, Tim Waltz of Minnesota, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, and Tony Evers of Wisconsin, all Democrats.
“At a time when people are directly impacted by rising prices on everyday goods, a federal gas tax holiday is a tool in the toolbox to reduce costs for Americans, and we urge you to give every consideration to this proposed legislation,” the governors wrote last week in a letter to House and Senate leadership.
Democratic senators last month introduced the Gas Tax Relief Act, which would suspend collection of the federal gas tax until January 1, 2023, but so far there has been no action taken.
And those six governors have not taken action to reduce the tax burden on their residents. “According to the Federation of Tax Administrators, Pennsylvania tacks on 57.6 cents per gallon — the highest state gas tax in the US. Wisconsin adds 30.9 cents per gallon to pump prices, Minnesota has a 28.5-cent-per-gallon tax, Michigan’s gas tax stands at 27.2 cents per gallon, Colorado adds 22 cents to every gallon, and New Mexico adds 17 cents,” the New York Post reported.
Meanwhile, two states have moved ahead with their own tax relief. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, both Republicans, signed legislation in their states on Friday to suspend the state-level tax on gas. The Maryland law suspends the state’s gas tax for 30 days, while the Georgia law suspends the tax through May 31.
“This bipartisan action will provide some relief from the pain at the pump and it is possible because of the prudent fiscal steps we have taken, which have resulted in a record budget surplus,” Hogan said. “This is, of course, not a cure-all, and market instability will continue to lead to fluctuations in prices, but we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to provide relief for Marylanders.”
Kemp announced the legislation in a video posted to Twitter on Friday. “The average price of a gallon of gas has increased from $2.69 to $4.28 since March of 2021, a 59% increase, and researchers are now estimating that the average American household could spend an average of $2,000 more per year because of increased fuel cost and sky-high inflation,” Kemp said. “While some of the more recent price hikes are due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Georgians also know that Washington, D.C., policies and politics were driving inflation to record highs well before Putin’s despicable actions.”
Kemp faulted the Biden administration for shutting down domestic energy and driving inflation while continually attempting to shift the blame away from them, and then touted Georgia’s small government and pro-business environment. “Today, I signed HB 304, to temporarily halt collection of the state gas tax, and ease the burden consumers are feeling at the pump,” Kemp continued. “We can’t fix everything that Washington has broken, but we are doing our part to lessen the impact on your wallet.”
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent, and ran the Drudge Report from 2010 to 2015. Send tips to email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.