Michigan Legislature Votes to Halt Gas Tax; Whitmer Opposed

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers voted Tuesday to suspend the state’s 27.2-cents-a-gallon gasoline and diesel taxes for six month, finalizing a bill that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signaled she will veto.

The Republican-sponsored legislation was approved 24-14 on mostly party lines in the GOP-controlled Senate after the House passed it last week. It would save drivers facing higher pump prices about $725 million by freezing the taxes from April through September.

Whitmer, a Democrat, has instead supported halting the federal 18.4-cents-per-gallon gas tax and 24.4-cent diesel tax while calling for negotiations to commence on permanent, targeted state income tax deductions and credits for retirees and lower-wage earners. She will soon veto a separate Republican-backed measure that would cut the state income tax, bolster deductions for seniors and bring back a child tax credit.

The statewide average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas was $4.23, down slightly from a record high last Thursday. It was up from $4.18 a week ago and $3.35 a month ago.