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States Begin To Suspend Gas Tax To Curb High Fuel Costs

Multiple states have now suspended their state gas taxation to help drivers manage high prices.
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Following up our March 9th report on the topic of states and the federal government weighing whether to suspend gas taxes temporarily we have an important development. Two states, Georgia and Maryland have moved forward and suspended state gasoline taxes.

Maryland went first. This past Friday, Gov. Larry Hogan signed legislation unanimously passed by Maryland's legislature that waives suspended the state tax of 36.1 cents per gallon on gasoline and also its 36.85 cents per gallon tax on diesel. The reduction in taxation began effective immediately and will be in effect for the next 30 days. “This bipartisan action will provide some relief from the pain at the pump and it is possible because of the prudent fiscal steps we have taken, which have resulted in a record budget surplus,” said Governor Hogan. “This is, of course, not a cure-all, and market instability will continue to lead to fluctuations in prices, but we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to provide relief for Marylanders.”

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp also signed legislation that would eliminate the state’s 29.1 cent tax on motor fuel and 32.6 cent tax on diesel through May 31. Commenting on his decision to suspend his state’s fuel taxes, Governor Kemp tweeted, “With gas prices up by at least 59% in a year, & D.C.'s pandemic politics further driving inflation, Georgia's families need & deserve all the relief we can give them. Today, I signed HB 304, temporarily halting the state’s gas tax.”

Federal legislation to suspend the federal 18.4 cent per gallon gas tax has been proposed. Democratic U.S. Senators Mark Kelly (Ariz.), Maggie Hassan (N.H.), Raphael Warnock (Ga.), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), and Jacky Rosen (Nev.) have put forth a proposal to suspend the 18-cent per gallon federal gasoline tax. The Hill reported last week that this plan is stalled now, as many other legislators are against the idea.

Most of the debate around gas taxes is framed in the context of the money going toward maintaining and repairing “roads and bridges.” However, as our recent report highlighted, in many states, well over 30% of the money is used for projects unrelated to road and bridge repair and maintenance.

Do you support a temporary suspension of the gas taxes in your state or at the federal level? Tell us in the comments below.

Image by John Goreham

John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American news outlets and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin

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Comments

I guess the shoe's on the other foot now: EV's in Georgia are now paying a $213 annual license fee to make up for, I believe, the gas taxes that they aren't paying. Georgia EVs, with whatever taxes they pay for electricity, will be subsidizing gasoline powered cars in Georgia for a while. All 23,000 of them.
I would be amazed to see such a reprieve passed by the Utah legislature.
is oklahoma thinking about lifting the gas tax