Governor Youngkin to propose suspending gas tax for 3 months

Gov. Glenn Youngkin (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Gov. Glenn Youngkin (AP Photo/Steve Helber)(Steve Helber | AP)
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 8:51 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2022 at 3:04 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Governor Glenn Youngkin announced plans to suspend the entire gas tax for three months to help give Virginians a break while gas prices soar.

Youngkin made the announcement while at a BP gas station on West Broad Street in Henrico on Wednesday while filling up tanks and washing windshields for drivers.

Virginia’s gas tax is about 26 cents per gallon of gas.

Youngkin said he predicts having $1.1 billion more in the Commonwealth’s transportation fund than initially expected, so there would be money in the system to do this.

The suspension is expected to cost about $400 million, but Youngkin said it is worth the investment.

“We’ve got this moment where Virginia families have seen nothing but prices go up everywhere they are, and we can cut taxes right now - get them back down, and we must get that done,” Youngkin said.

Gov. Youngkin campaigned on rolling back the most recent increase in the gas tax for 12 months. He was working with the general assembly to include that in this budget, but that was not getting much traction.

Lawmakers will have to return for a special session to pass a budget and several other bills. Youngkin did not have any updates on when he would call the session.

Youngkin said that he would put an emergency clause on the bill so that the gas tax holiday would go into effect as quickly as possible if passed.

Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-35 District) released the following statement:

“While we can understand Governor Youngkin’s desire to address high prices at the gas pump, fuel costs have actually been falling–40 cents per gallon in the last four days. The Commonwealth’s transportation budget relies on gas tax revenue; in my district, the region can’t currently maintain our current infrastructure much less any new construction. Some roads even look like a war has been fought on them.

“As final negotiations take place, we need to make sure we can provide relief for Virginians while still maintaining a robust and responsible budget. Senate Democrats look forward to working with Governor Youngkin, Senate Republicans, and the House of Delegates to achieve these and many other goals. Let’s get to work.”

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