Biden Calls for Gas Tax Holiday, State Negotiating More Relief
It’s not much but at this point drivers will take any help with gas prices as high as they are.
President Joe Biden officially called on Congress to pause the federal gas tax for the summer. That’s 18 cents a gallon for gasoline, 24 cents a gallon of diesel.
After months of negotiation, President Biden announced his willingness to suspend the federal gas tax for 90 days. This was something Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been asking for for months.
“Michiganders are ready for some relief at the pump,” said Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, “This federal gas tax holiday being called for by the president is an important step.”
It’s something Republicans have dogged her administration for, after Whitmer vetoed a bill that would repeal the state gas tax, 27 cents a gallon. The bill she vetoed wouldn’t take effect until next year, doing nothing this summer. Drivers want help now.
“It doesn’t reduce all the pain but it would be a big help,” said Biden, “I want the congress, the states and the industry to do their part as well.”
Patrick De Haan of GasBuddy.com agreed, tweeting, “The states must follow and could lower prices by 50 cents in some states.” In Michigan, it would be about 45 cents per gallon.
Another proposal is making its way through the legislature that would repeal the state sales tax on gas, six percent. That’s another 30 cents off a $5 gallon of gas.
Whitmer has leaned more towards the sales tax plan than the gas tax repeal.
“We can do that responsibly, it can provide relief immediately and it would not put our road construction and infrastructure investments at risk,” said Gilchrist, “Like repealing the state gas tax would do.”
Wednesday in a statement on the federal gas tax holiday plan, Whitmer said, “If we suspend the Michigan sales tax on gas and also get this done, we can save families nearly 50 cents a gallon right now.”
She will only sign something that is sustainable and limits the impact on other budget areas. That’s where the negotiations for the future of any relief at the pump stands.
“There’s a way to do this responsibly,” said Gilchrist, “That makes sure our education investments are made whole and bring relief at the pump and we can do that.”