Why Won’t Inslee Suspend State Gas Tax for Pump Relief? Find Out
Gov. Inslee over the years has found ways to conveniently ignore elephants in the room when it comes to hot-button issues in our state. Gas prices are one of these elephants.
Why Inslee won't support suspending the state's gas tax.
According to numerous reports, including ShiftWA, Inslee was pressured as far back as April to call a special session of the legislature, and temporarily repeal the state's gas tax, which at $.49.4 cents per gallon, is the 4th-highest in the U.S.
We're only 1 penny behind 3rd. In April, GOP leaders, including Senate Minority Leader John Braun pressured Inslee to call the session.
However, Inslee refused, for the following reasons (via ShiftWA):
i"...f the tax were halted then there would be no money for road construction projects; and 2) oil companies would immediately raise their fuel prices the amount of the eliminated tax."
Inslee is only partially right on the road construction claim. While we are 9th in utilizing such taxes for road projects, according to the Tax Foundation, 63 percent, but NOT all of that is the gas tax. In fact, it's a variety of other taxes that also factor into roads. So, his statement is incorrect. The last time this discussion came up, it was pointed out that without gas taxes, projects would still keep going for quite some time.
And, in a few states where they have temporarily suspended the state gas tax for pump relief, there's no indication the oil companies have raised prices to 'cover the gap' as claimed by Inslee.
If the gas tax were suspended, even temporarily, it would drop our prices here in Tri-Cities (based upon a low price of $5.09 on Thursday, June 9th) to around $4.60, which although still ridiculous, would provide significant relief.
Inslee has been quiet on this since April
Since his refusal to call for a special session in April, Inslee has been typically quiet on this subject. He's put out releases and comments on everything from "National Secure Your Load Day" to the new Snake River Dam breaching report, but nothing on gas prices as they continue to punish us at the pump.
LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving