Ivey not on board with potential gas tax suspension

 

President Joe Biden is calling for Congress to temporarily suspend the federal gas tax, which could save Americans about 18 cents on every gallon.

He’s also asking that states do the same, but Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is not enthused about the idea. On Wednesday, she released the following statement:

“Alabamians and Americans alike are hurting, and it’s a real shame President Biden is failing to address the problem. Folks across our state need relief, but I do not believe that relief will come through a fuel tax suspension at the federal or state levels. In fact, as we have continued to look closely at this issue, I believe that this could cause more harm than good in Alabama, ultimately costing taxpayers.

“President Biden could not be more hard-headed on the issue of American energy independence, but he campaigned on that, so, it comes as no surprise to me. He is closing pipelines with the stroke of a pen. Here in our neck of the woods, the Gulf of Mexico is currently in a moratorium with no lease sales being held, which impacts both our oil and gas industries, as well as the Alabama consumer. He is pointing his finger at the oil industry and is looking anywhere else but home. There is also no certainty that Americans will feel even temporary relief from this band-aid approach. Let’s be clear: We need a permanent solution.

“The Biden Administration is seeing bad poll numbers, and they’re scrambling. This is a gimmick, plain and simple.”

AAA Alabama Public Relations and Marketing Director Clay Ingram said the move doesn’t automatically put more money into drivers’ pockets. The gas stations have to play along.

“If (the government) suspended the gas tax, gas stations would not have to pay the federal tax,” Ingram said. “That means they don’t have to pay that to the government. The theory behind it is if they don’t have to pay the government they don’t have to lower their prices by that same amount, but in all probability that really wouldn’t happen.”

In Alabama, there are plenty of residents and politicians who are urging Ivey to repeal the state’s most recent 10-cent gas tax increase, which funds the Rebuild Alabama Act plan.

The Alabama Department of Transportation and governor’s office regularly announce new grants for road and bridge projects around the state thanks to the tax.

Including the most recent 10-cent tax, Alabamians pay 28 cents a gallon in state taxes.

So what would it mean if Alabama suspends its state gas tax?

“There are a lot of Rebuild Alabama road projects that are going on right now,” said State Sen. Bobby Singleton. “If you stop taxes right now, a lot of those projects will come to a halt.”

At the moment, AAA is predicting gas will get more affordable as fall begins.

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