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Governor Ducey won't consider suspending state tax on gasoline

Gasoline Quality
Posted at 4:55 PM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 20:31:09-04

PHOENIX — High gas prices or not, don't expect Arizona to suspend its 18 cent per gallon gasoline tax.

It may sound good, and ADOT says the average Arizona motorist will save $103 a year if the tax was suspended.

But the result may end up costing more for the upkeep on your vehicle. ADOT says suspending the tax will result in a $540 million-a-year loss to the state's Highway User Revenue Fund.

HURF helps finance major road infrastructure projects across the state.

"We should be expanding production and not using gimmicks especially when we have infrastructure projects in the state that need resources," Governor Ducey said.

On Wednesday, the average price for a gallon of regular gas in Arizona is $4.61. Diesel costs $5.14 a gallon.

Governor Ducey acknowledged higher gas prices are affecting the economy, but he believes the answer to higher gas prices is to drill more oil.

"There's all kinds of opportunities to tap supply, it wasn't all that long ago America was independent. We were selling energy to our friends. Now we're buying from our enemies."

Arizona Senator Mark Kelly has co-sponsored a bill in Congress that would suspend the federal gas tax, which is 18.4 cents per gallon, until January 2023.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates it would cost $20 billion to suspend the federal gas tax from March to December 2022. That's almost half of the $43 billion in total revenue the Congressional Budget Office anticipates the Highway Trust Fund will raise in the next year. The Kelly bill does not include diesel fuel.

But Congress may not have to act. In some parts of the country, gas prices started to go down Wednesday. Not substantially yet, but the price of oil fell 8% Monday. Industry analysts who track gasoline prices for AAA told CNN if the price holds that could lead to a 20-cent a gallon drop at the pump.

But that could be short lived since the start of the summer driving season is only weeks away.