Wisconsin Gov. Evers among Democrats calling for suspension of federal gas tax

Hand holding gasoline nozzle for car refueling at gas station
Hand holding gasoline nozzle for car refueling at gas station(WRDW)
Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 1:11 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2022 at 9:41 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is among six Democratic governors urging Congress to suspend the federal gas tax as consumers deal with record prices at the pump.

On Tuesday, the average price for a gallon of gas in Wisconsin hit $3.942. That’s just shy of the national average of $4.173/gallon. AAA has said the increase in prices is due to the conflict in Ukraine and demand.

“At a time when people are directly impacted by rising prices on everyday goods, a federal gas tax holiday is a tool in the toolbox to reduce costs for Americans, and we urge you to give every consideration to this proposed legislation,” reads a letter signed by the six governors.

The governors are calling for the passage of the Gas Prices Relief Act of 2022. It would suspend the federal gas tax until Jan. 1, 2023. The federal tax is 18.4 cents per gallon.

The bill would also “require the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Treasury to monitor the program in order to ensure oil and gas companies pass along the savings at the pump to consumers; encourage the secretary to take appropriate enforcement actions to ensure consumers see these savings; and maintain the integrity of the Highway Trust Fund by requiring the U.S. Department of Treasury to make general fund transfers to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent.”

Evers was joined by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf.

Wisconsin also has a state gas tax, which is 30.9 cents per gallon.

So far, Evers has not called for that tax to be suspended, which is 11th highest in the nation.

Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson who is also running for US Senate believes a corporate windfall tax is a better option than suspending the gas tax.

“We’ve had this corporate consolidation of oil companies, we have oil companies that are sitting on leases and why do they have the incentive, they don’t have the incentive to put more supply in the market because they’re doing really well. I mean Shell Oil has had these record profits these past couple of quarters,” said Nelson.

Others disagree with that approach, including Patrick De Haan who is Head of Petroleum Analysis for Gasbuddy.com.

He said, “It’s very disingenuous I’d say to suggest oil companies are simply manipulating prices. They don’t get to set prices, the markets do, you and I do through how often we fill our tanks.”

On Monday we showed you a gas station in Neenah charging $4.19 a gallon, which has since dropped to $3.87.

Some people have asked whether this station was inflating a price.

“Stations are raising prices because their cost of replacement is going up, meaning they’re paying more for their gas. Is that gouging? No,” said De Haan.

Copyright 2022 WBAY. All rights reserved.