Glenn Youngkin

Youngkin Wants Virginia Lawmakers to Suspend Gas Tax for 3 Months

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, gestures during an interview in his office at the Capitol Tuesday Feb. 15, 2022
AP Photo/Steve Helber

Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said Wednesday that he wants the divided General Assembly to pass legislation that would suspend the state gas tax for three months, a move he estimated would save drivers 26 cents per gallon at a time when prices have skyrocketed.

At an appearance at a Richmond-area gas station, Youngkin said he would send a bill to lawmakers when they reconvene soon for a special session that would roll back the tax then gradually phase it back in after the three-month holiday.

The governor said high gas prices are just part of the “inflationary pressures” Virginia families are facing.

"We need to do something real and fast,” he said.

Passage of such a measure would require bipartisan cooperation. Leadership of the Senate Democratic caucus neither fully endorsed nor rejected the proposal.

“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," Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw said in a statement.

Ride shares and taxis are adding surcharges to help drivers with the high gas prices. Transportation Reporter Adam Tuss reports both Maryland and Virginia are considering gas tax holidays to help ease the burden.

Saslaw's statement also emphasized that the state's transportation budget relies on gas tax revenue.

Unable to reach an agreement on the state budget, lawmakers adjourned their regular session Saturday with the intent to reconvene upon the call of the governor once progress has been made.

Youngkin told reporters Wednesday that it wasn't clear yet when he would call them back.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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