|June 28, 2022|
Biden calls on Congress to approve 3-month federal gas tax holiday
WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden on Wednesday called on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for three months, a move that the White House hopes will help ease some of the pain caused by high gas prices across the country.
In a statement released by the White House, Biden urged lawmakers to suspend the current 18-cent tax per gallon of gasoline and 24-cent on diesel until the end of September.
The president also urged states to act, either by pausing their own gas taxes, deferring any planned hikes, or offering rebates and relief payments, in a bid to alleviate the burden of high prices at the pump.
Biden asked lawmakers in Congress to ensure that the three-month tax freeze does not negatively impact the Highway Trust Fund—which is funded by these taxes—by using other revenues to cover its $10 billion cost.
In the statement, Biden once again blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin and his ongoing invasion of Ukraine as the reason behind the high gas prices, even referring to it as the “Putin Price Hike.”
$4.955. That is the average national price per gallon of regular gasoline on Wednesday according to American Automobile Association’s tracker. The national average crossed $5 for the first time in the history of the tracker earlier this month.
The average national price drop of gasoline below $5 on Saturday was the first weekly drop in nine weeks—but the number continues to remain nearly $2 above what it was at this time last year. The steep rise in gas prices is a result of crude oil prices breaching decade-long highs earlier this year, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia, which is a key producer of petroleum, has been the target of multiple western sanctions including a U.S. ban on Russian energy imports. In addition to that, other members of the group of oil-producing nations, OPEC, were slow to ramp up production following the invasion, leading to a supply crunch. High prices at the pump has been one of the key factors behind the four-decade high annual inflation rate of 8.6%.
These states have the highest—and lowest—gas taxes
Pennsylvania has the highest state gas taxes in the nation at 57.6 cents per gallon, according to data from IGEN tax software company.
The other states with the highest tax rates are California (51.1 cents), Washington (49.4), New Jersey (42.1) and Illinois (39.2).
Alaska has by far the lowest tax rate at 8.95 cents per gallon, followed by Hawaii (16), New Mexico (17), Mississippi (18) and Arizona (18).
Biden’s call comes after several states have already suspended their gas taxes this year: Maryland’s gas tax holiday lasted from March 18 to April 16, while Connecticut suspended its gas taxes from April 1 to June 30, New York from June 1 to the end of the year and Georgia from March 18 to July 14.
Florida said it would have a gas tax holiday for the month of October, and several more states have proposed holidays. (Source: Forbes)
Story Date: June 23, 2022