Youngkin demands lawmakers take up 90-day gas tax holiday with rising prices
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia’s average gas price sits at $4.24 a gallon and climbing. It’s about a penny more in the Richmond area. The cost of gas has gone up more than 17 cents in the past week alone.
“It’s summertime. It’s when gas prices go up the most. Let’s get Virginians a break. Let’s get people to Virginia. Now’s the time to do it,” said Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
Youngkin says state lawmakers need to act on his 90-day gas tax holiday. That measure would suspend the 26-cent gas tax at the pump. It would be phased out in the fall and would cost the state about $470 million.
It’s been stalled for about a month now, while work on the state’s budget continues.
“But now is the time to give Virginians a break. Prices are running away from us. We have more money in the system than we thought. Over a billion dollars more in the commonwealth transportation budget. It’s Virginians’ money and it’s time for us to let them have it,” said Gov. Youngkin.
Meanwhile, state Democrats tried to offer Virginians relief at the pump and failed. Lawmakers proposed sending one-time payments of $50 to every car owner in Virginia and up to $100 per household. That would have cost the state about $135 million.
There is also a $250 tax rebate in the Senate budget that would go directly to everyone who filed state taxes.
“We support calling for direct tax rebates for working families. That’s what we can do right now. That’s what we should do not some costly gas tax holiday that can’t guarantee savings for Virginians,” said Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, (D) 41st District.
The governor blasted the gift card idea saying the logistics are unclear. Democrats say the governor’s notion that lower gas prices will drive tourism is wrong.
“Most of his plan would go to out-of-state drivers. It would go to oil companies and meanwhile, oil company profits are soaring to record highs,” said Del. Filler-Corn.
The governor says he wants the gas tax holiday to apply to diesel as well, hoping shipping companies and businesses won’t jack up consumer costs on that front.
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