Support grows for gas tax holiday in Hawaii, but Ige appears resistant to the idea
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some state lawmakers are renewing calls to drop the state gas tax following President Biden’s proposal Wednesday that federal taxes be temporarily waived.
President Biden called on Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months.
Could Hawaii do the same?
Gov. David Ige said Wednesday that the decision would ultimately fall on the state Legislature.
He added: “Just a short-term holiday would be difficult to implement and certainly, the impact would be limited.”
He said there is also concern that oil companies will not pass savings on to the consumer.
Gas prices are now higher than they were during the 2008 Recession.
Currently, the average cost of gas in the United States is $4.96. In Hawaii, it’s $5.55. Suspending the federal tax for three months would reduce that to $5.37.
But there are two other taxes driving up the prices in the islands — Hawaii’s state tax is 16 cents. County taxes vary from 16 cents to 23 cents.
According to officials, if all those taxes were suspended, a gallon of gas could be as low as $4.98.
Biden is pleading for compassion.
“I call on the companies to pass this along every penny of this 18-cent reduction to the consumers. This is no time for profiteering,” said Biden.
State Rep. Gene Ward, of Hawaii Kai, said there’s no end in sight to the price increases.
“It’s not going to stop at $6, $7 or $8, it’s going to go higher,” said “We know Biden will not do the drilling or open up the resources locally.”
Ward also said people need as much relief as they can get amid rising cost of living in Hawaii.
The Biden Administration said it was also considering sending out rebate cards but no plan has been implemented.
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