GOP continues debate over how to relieve drivers at the pump

Gas Octane Options
Posted at 5:35 AM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 05:35:01-04

(WXYZ) — The average price of gas in Michigan right now is $4.15 a gallon. That's 78 cents more than last month and $1.40 more than it was this time last year.

There's a growing debate in Lansing about how to bring gas relief to drivers at the pump as many are struggling to fill their tanks.

"I have to put pretty much 50 to 60 in the tank to go somewhere," Andrea Godfrey said. "Yea, it's terrible."

The GOP led-legislature wants to pause the state's gas tax which would save drivers 27 cents per gallon at the pump.

This relief would last for about six months, but Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is saying no way.

Instead, she proposed suspending the 6 percent Michigan sales tax on gas saying in a press release: "I will not support legislation that jeopardizes road repairs, construction jobs, or funding for local schools."

She still supports suspending the 18 cents federal gas tax.

"If we see a loss of revenue from that law or that bill...that could be detrimental to our service maintenance," Washtenaw County Road Commission Spokesperson Emily Kizer said.

Most of Oakland County's road commission budget comes from the gas tax.

"That is about 50 percent of our primary operating revenue so it would be huge," Craig Bryson of Oakland County Road Commission said.

But drivers like Andrea Godfrey say they want to save more.

"I would like to save at the pump," Godfrey said.

Others aren't willing to take the risk.

"Saving money now at the gas pump would only cost us later with maintenance on the vehicle," driver Gabriel Rideoit said.