Massachusetts

Mass. Drivers React to Biden's Proposed Gas Tax Holiday Amid ‘Crazy' Prices

President Joe Biden is calling on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax and on states to do the same for their gas taxes

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Drivers are desperate for a deal on gas as prices seem to have settled in at about $5 a gallon.

“It’s getting outrageous,” small business owner Brandon Yemma said.

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President Joe Biden is calling on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax through the end of September. That would save drivers 18 cents per gallon on regular fuel and 24 cents a gallon on diesel.

As President Joe Biden pushes for a federal gas tax holiday, Massachusetts lawmakers are pondering state action.

Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said in a joint statement that they "support passing legislation to suspend the gas tax in Massachusetts as President Biden called for today."

“Paying less at the pump would be great,” said a truck driver named Jeff.

“It would help out a lot," Yenma said of the proposed federal gas tax holiday. "It costs me like 150 bucks to fill this thing up and I’m going through like ¾ of a tank a day.”

“The gas price doubled in like a few months and that’s crazy, that would help a lot,” commuter Li Hua said.

Biden is also calling on states to suspend their gas taxes, and retailors to immediately lower their prices to reflect the savings.

"I think it’s a cop out. I think there’s a lot better things that could be done about it and it’s not nearly enough," Jeff added. "It’s just insane.”

Here in Massachusetts, lawmakers already backed off from suspending the 24-cent per gallon state tax, something Mark Schieldrop with AAA Northeast explained.

But here in Massachusetts, lawmakers already backed off from suspending the 24-cent per gallon state tax.

Mark Schieldrop with AAA Northeast explained: “For motorists in New York, they got some savings right off the bat, but within a week or two those savings were completely wiped out by the rise in gas prices.”

And there are concerns about a big drop in revenue if the federal tax is suspended.

At issue is the 18.4 cents-a-gallon federal tax on gas and the 24.4 cents-a-gallon federal tax on diesel fuel. President Joe Biden is also calling on states to suspend their gas taxes and retailors to immediately lower their prices to reflect the savings. And he's pushing the oil industry to step up supply. For many, it would be welcome relief to their wallets, but for others, it's too little too late.

“The gas tax funds transportation infrastructure, so as a result, we’d be looking at about $20 billion less revenue for our roads and bridges,” said Schieldrop, “so we have to kind of weigh that and decide, is that a compromise we’re willing to make?”

The president is also pushing the oil industry to step up the supply, and oil refiners bring concrete solutions to the table when they meet with the energy secretary later this week.

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