As pressure builds on the Biden administration to take action against record high gas prices, both Democratic governors and candidates running in states across the country are seeking to alleviate the pain of the pump by implementing or promoting plans that will reduce economic costs. burdens facing Americans. with rising energy costs.
Earlier this week, as AAA figures showed an average price per gallon of gas just under $ 5, President Biden called on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax by September. There is currently a federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon on gas and 24.4 cents per gallon on the federal tax on diesel.
In line with Biden’s petition to Congress, which many have expressed skepticism, other Democrats have spoken out and offered support for plans to help Americans as they fight rising gas prices ahead of several controversial midterm elections. later this year.
Starting the nationwide gas tax holiday earlier this month, New York Governor Katie Hochul announced the suspension of certain gas taxes within Empire State.
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Under the plan, which Hochul’s office said it would reduce by at least $ 0.16 a gallon nationwide, excise duty on motor fuels, state sales tax and sales tax on motor fuel and diesel fuel at Metropolitan Commuter Transport District were suspended until the end of the year. The changes took effect in the state on June 1.
“Fuel prices have risen in recent months, hurting working families and small businesses the most, and it is crucial to provide relief to New Yorkers,” Hochul said in a statement. “By suspending certain fuel taxes for the next seven months, New York provides about $ 609 million in direct relief to New Yorkers – a critical lifeline for those who need it most.
Similarly, long before Hochul’s announcement, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed emergency legislation to suspend his country’s $ 0.25 gas tax in March. The move to suspend the state’s gasoline tax took effect on April 1 and was scheduled to last until June 30, but was extended in late April to last until December 1 at a cost of $ 150 million after Lamont and the Democratic majority in The State House and Senate agreed on a budget deal.
At the signing of the measure, Lamont advertised the decision as “the right thing to do“and later suggested that the $ 24 billion state budget deal would” take care of the people most in need. ”
Lamont also released a television commercial promoting certain tax cuts in the state, focusing on gasoline.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Basher also tried to change how much Americans pay for the pump in Bluegrass by putting a freeze on the state gas tax, which was originally supposed to increase from $ 0.26 to $ 0.28 in July.
Like his counterpart in Connecticut, Besher also said the freeze, which is thought to save Kentucky families $ 35 million and remain in place until at least January, is “the right thing to do.” and told residents that while “this is largely beyond our control as a state to reduce gas prices, this is a step we can and must take to prevent them from increasing further.”
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While White House decisions remain stagnant, congressional candidates and governors, including some of the more vocal members of Biden’s party, are also making it clear that swift action must be taken.
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In Florida, Nicky Fried, a Democratic governor’s hopeful, attacked Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in March, accusing him of forcing Sunshine residents to “wait until October” before taking action to cut gasoline costs. “While other states have already suspended their gas taxes, DeSantis is making us wait until October,” Fried said. wrote in a tweet. “If I were governor, gas tax breaks would come in and I would work to provide a discount on gas. Florida is suffering from the pump today and deserves relief now.
Last month, DeSantis signed a package law that includes a number of tax holidays. As part of the package, the state gas sales tax is due to be suspended in October.
In similar remarks shared earlier this year, Charlie Christ, the former Republican governor of Florida, who now seeks to run the state as a Democrat, also criticized DeSantis, who he said “did nothing” to cut gasoline costs. “Average gas prices in Florida reached a 7-year high in 2021 – and while we called for a freeze on the state gas tax, @GovRonDeSantis did nothing to put the hard-working Florida residents at the pump,” Crist wrote in a January tweet.
In an effort to provide immediate assistance to Ohio’s families, Nan Whaley, the Buccaneer Democrat nominee for governor who will face incumbent Republican Gov. Mike DeWain in November, proposed this month that the governor use funds from the U.S. bailout plan to issue one-off checks of $ 350 for residents of the state.
“This is not rocket science. “We need common sense to help people who are struggling with rising costs,” Weiley said. “That payment will go to the same people who received federal incentives last year. That’s about 7.4 million Ohio residents, or 89 percent of Ohio families.”
Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s attorney general and nominated by the Democratic Party as governor of the state in 2022, also placed great emphasis on tax cuts, including those related to gasoline.
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Under a plan that has been strongly focused on the campaign over the past few months, Shapiro has called for a $ 250 gas tax refund for up to four passenger vehicles. “As governor, I’ll cut your taxes – and send you a check for $ 250 for every car you own, up to four cars,” Shapiro said. wrote in a tweet in May.
Democrats are not the only ones taking steps to ease spending. In March, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a law suspending Georgia’s fuel tax by the end of May. He later extended the suspension until mid-July, but Stacey Abrams, his Democratic candidate in the November general election, said that was not enough. Abrams, according to an Axios report, said Kemp was using the state gas tax “like political football” and insisted that “it should suspend the state gas tax by the end of the year”.