Relief at the pump: These states are suspending gas taxes

Gas prices reached a record high in mid-March with the national average hitting $4.33 per gallon of regular unleaded gas and more than $5.13 for diesel according to tracking by AAA.

The national average gas prices have since come down slightly but still remain high. And some states continue to see average prices topping $5 a gallon. 

As per AAA’s reporting, gas prices set a new peak in mid-March, with the nationwide average reaching $4.33 per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline and more than $5.13 for diesel.

Although national average gas prices have decreased marginally ever since they keep rising. Moreover, average costs in several states exceeded $5 per gallon.

As federal action languishes on the issue, some states are quickly moving to suspend their own fuel taxes to counter price shocks at the pump. Governors and state lawmakers, in the midst of an election year, say it’s necessary relief for drivers.

“The combination of a war and a pandemic — if that’s not an emergency I don’t know what is,” said New York state Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn), who chairs the Senate Energy Committee.

Georgia paused its 29.1-cent gas tax through May and Maryland paused its 36.1-cent tax for 30 days. Connecticut’s 25-cent tax is scheduled to halt from the beginning of April to the end of June. (Florida lawmakers cleared the way for an October gas tax halt.)

The federal government assesses an 18.4-cent/gallon gas tax and the revenue goes to the Highway Trust Fund, just as state gas taxes help fund state road upkeep.

Altogether, taxes account for 14% of the cost of a gallon of gas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. By far, the top cost is crude oil and its price tag explains 61% of the cost of a gallon of gas, the agency said. 

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