State lawmakers to consider gas tax holiday

Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 6:55 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia lawmakers must take care of unfinished business – approval of a new two-year spending plan. But they will also consider Governor Youngkin’s proposal for a gas tax holiday during the special session of the General Assembly that opened this week.

“I hope we get this done. It’s time for Virginians to get a break in gas prices,” Youngkin said Monday during an event outside the Governor’s mansion.

With the introduction of the legislation, we’re learning more about the proposal.

The bill calls for a three-month gas tax holiday during May, June and July. The tax would be phased back in during August and September. And the legislation would limit future increases to no more than 2% a year.

Democrats say they want to give Virginians relief from rising prices, but question whether the gas tax holiday is the right way to do it.

“As the governor said last week, he can’t guarantee it because it goes through the wholesalers,” said Sen. Jeremy McPike (D-Prince William Co.). “We want to make sure that money gets back in Virginians’ pockets.”

The state’s gas tax now stands at roughly 26 cents a gallon, and Youngkin said prices at the pump have fallen in other states that have suspended the tax.

“Any kind of relief on gas polls well, and he puts it in the bin that’s introduced as legislation,” said Virginia Tech Professor and WDBJ7 political analyst Bob Denton. “The Democrats, if they don’t like it, they’re going to have to vote against it.”

With negotiations on the budget still under way, it’s unclear when lawmakers will return to Richmond to vote on the spending plan, or the gas tax holiday.

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