House approves bill to suspend state gas tax

Lawmakers are hoping to bring relief to drivers.
Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 10:03 PM EST
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Mich. (WNEM)- Lawmakers are hoping to bring relief to drivers voting to suspend the state’s gas tax after multiple governors including Gretchen Whitmer requested to pause the federal gas tax.

“Never have our gas prices been this high in the last nine years,” said Representative Phil Green.

That is why Green said the house approved a bill that would suspend the state gas tax for six months.

“This is a temporary fix. A 27 cent per gallon relief at the pump,” Green said.

He said that money would go back to drivers.

“Inside the bill there is a provision that says the gas stations would be mandated to pass that savings along,” Green said.

Those savings would come with a long-term cost, according to Nick Dodge, communications director for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.

“This is just a hasty policy. And quite frankly, it’s reckless,” Dodge said.

Dodge estimates the measure would cost the state $750 million.

“This comes at a time when we’ve got priorities that this money needs to go to. Like improving our drinking water, improving our infrastructure,” Dodge said.

Green said the potential loss of revenue would not come at the expense of things like road repair.

“We have promised that we are going to backfill that money. We’re not going to hold the county roads accountable for this break, we would take that money that the feds have given us in different capacities to help with our infrastructure,” Green said.

Dodge said the state should instead focus on addressing the volatility of gas prices and instead invest in things like clean energy sources and electric vehicles to eliminate an oil dependency.

“We’re calling on our leaders and our policy makers to look towards the future and put in long term solutions so that we don’t end up in another crisis like this,” Dodge said.