President Joe Biden wants to suspend the national gas tax for three months with a holiday running from July to September.
“We can bring down the price of gas and give families just a little bit of relief… I call on the companies to pass along with every penny of this 18-cent reduction to the consumers. This is no time for profiteering,” said Biden Wednesday.
The announcement comes as the national average price for a gallon of gas hovers just under $5 a gallon.
If this tax holiday is approved, we could see prices drop by 18 cents for the next months.
Despite the anticipated savings, the plan is receiving some criticism from Florida lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
The problem is, that both Democrats and Republicans acknowledge this isn’t a long-term solution.
Of course, they strongly disagree on what a long-term solution actually looks like.
For commuters like Mayas Khiyami though, any relief is welcome.
“I’m wasting like $40 a day cause I work in Orange Park. I gotta driver there every day,” said Khiyami.
The federal gas tax holiday would save him 18 cents on the gallon through September in theory, but State Representative Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando) noted some economists are skeptical those savings would come to fruition.
“Reducing a tax would increase demand and that gives room for oil companies to still price gouge you and when demand goes up prices also stay up,” said Eskamani.
Eskamani would rather see the federal government address what she argues is the real issue: Oil companies taking advantage of consumers.
“We have to hold these gas companies accountable. Oil and gas profits are through the roof and meanwhile, my constituents cannot afford to fill up their gas and go to work,” said Eskamani.
State Representative Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay) also sees a federal gas tax holiday as a band-aid approach.
“It’s unfortunate that Joe Biden’s gonna rack up even more debt on our children and grandchildren because of his failed energy policy,” said Fine.
Fine notes while the Florida Legislature voted to approve a one-month state gas tax holiday, the state has less influence than the federal government on the policies that affect the price of gas.
Unlike Eskamani, Fine argued the long-term solution is greater investment in oil and gas.
“When you tell people to stop drilling for oil, shockingly prices go up,” said Fine.
While Eskamani may not agree a gas tax holiday is the end-all-be-all, she sees the federal effort as more genuine.
Florida’s gas tax holiday will save drivers 25 cents on the gallon for the next month of October.
“Which clearly seems politically motivated because that would be as ballots are dropping and preceding the Governor’s Election Day,” said Eskamani.
Congress will need to approve Biden’s proposal in order to suspend the federal gas tax.
If lawmakers follow through, Floridians could hope to see a noticeable dip in gas prices for four solid months between the federal and state holidays.
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