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Youngkin pushes for temporary pause on state gas tax

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) announced on Monday that he sent legislation to the General Assembly to halt the state’s gas tax for three months amid skyrocketing fuel prices.

The proposal would suspend the motor vehicle fuels tax, which is 26.2 cents per gallon for gas and 27 cents per gallon for diesel fuel, for the months of May, June and July. The tax would slowly be reintroduced beginning in August, according to the governor’s release

“With gas prices and inflation squeezing families’ pocket books across Virginia and the nation and with over $1 billion in unanticipated revenue in our transportation fund, the general assembly must act now,” Youngkin said in a statement about the push. 

He also noted that the Commonwealth Transportation Fund has $671.4 million in unanticipated revenue from fiscal 2022 and $457.6 million from fiscal 2023.

“Virginia should join numerous other states, led by both Republicans and Democrats, in temporarily suspending the gas tax,” the governor added.

His proposal comes as several states, including Maryland, Connecticut and Georgia, have temporarily suspended their gas tax. 

The decisions come after the U.S. halted Russian oil imports amid Russia’s violent invasion of Ukraine. During the announcement of the ban, President Biden warned Americans that the ban would result in a spike in prices, exacerbating the already high fuel prices.

The administration announced last week that it would release 1 million barrels of oil each day for the next six months from its strategic oil reserve to combat the price spike.

The move would result in the release of about 180 million barrels total.

Currently, the national average for a regular gallon of gasoline is $4.176, just above the $4.048 average in Virginia, according to the American Automobile Association

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