WASHINGTON, D.C. — The average price at the pump in Michigan is still more than five dollars a gallon. There could be relief on the way, but it would take work from lawmakers at the state and federal levels.
President Joe Biden proposed his plan for relief Wednesday, while putting the pressure on Congress to make it happen.
The president called on lawmakers to suspend the federal gas tax, which would save Americans about 18 cents a gallon.
“I fully understand that a gas tax holiday alone is not going to fix the problem, but it will provide families some immediate relief. It’s a little bit of breathing room as we continue working to bring down prices for the long haul,” President Biden said Wednesday.
He also pushed for action at the state level, urging governors to slash their gas taxes. The president used New York and Connecticut, both with democratic governors, as examples of states that already suspended their own state gas tax.
Michigan applies a six-percent sales tax on gasoline, as well as a 27-cent gas tax.
As of Wednesday, the state average is $5.13 a gallon. If the state were to pause the sales tax, it would save Michiganders about 30-cents a gallon.
“We think that’s the right way to go and the legislature should send us a proposal to do that so we can sign it,” Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist said in agreement with the president
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has vetoed several relief bills related to the 27-cent gas tax, while supporting a pause on the six-percent sales tax.
The governor’s office says the previous relief bills would have not only cost the state funding to help fix the roads, but also would not go into effect until the end of the session in 2023.
“We continue to welcome and entertain any proposals in the legislature. Now, to do that one, because that will provide immediate relief. It won’t put our infrastructure investments at risk,” Lt. Gov. Gilchrist added.
Governor Whitmer responded to Wednesday’s announcement with the following statement:
“I am confident that President Biden and Congress can work together to temporarily pause the federal gas tax and, in Michigan, I will continue finding creative ways to put money back into people’s pockets.”
Back in May, Governor Whitmer proposed immediate $500 rebates.
In a statement to FOX 17, the Michigan GOP said they welcome the governor’s “newfound religion in cheering on gas tax relief,” but called out the governor for “issuing a veto in Michigan to relief that would have been greater than this one from the federal level.” The Michigan GOP went on to say that, “Michiganders could be paying a whopping 45-cents less in gas taxes now, but Gretchen Whitmer stood in the way of that.”