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President Biden proposes gas tax holiday as Wisconsin voters grow more worried about inflation

Gas Prices
Posted at 6:25 PM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 23:21:49-04

MILWAUKEE — President Joe Biden's plan could save you a few dollars every time you fill up at the gas pump, but Congress has to agree to postpone the federal gas tax.

The federal gas tax is about 18 cents a gallon and the state gas tax is about 32.8 cents, adding up to 50 cents a gallon.

Talk of postponing one or both comes as a new Marquette University Law School poll shows inflation is the number one concern among Wisconsin voters.

At the BP on 8th and Atkinson, the only Black-owned gas station in the state, the price per gallon is under $5.

Jimmy Hart, 70, was filling up his truck again Wednesday. The retired Harnischfeger employee loves to go fishing up north. He is looking for any break he can on gas prices, even if that means postponing the federal gas tax.

"A lot of people are being hurt by the gas prices," Hart said.

Every gallon you put in your tank, you pay 18 cents in a federal gas tax. Under President Biden's new proposal, it would postpone that federal gas tax for three months. He is asking states to do the same with the state gas tax.

The new Marquette poll did not measure the impact of soaring gas prices on the 2022 election, but Poll Director Charles Franklin says you can see it in the inflation concerns. Inflation was the number one voter concern with 75% saying they were "very concerned." It was an even bigger concern among Republican voters.

"So, the gap we are seeing between very high Republican concern and more moderate Democratic concern isn't because there are Republican gas pumps and Democratic gas pumps, said Franklin. "It's because we see even the objective world of prices through partisan lens."

Back at the gas station, Reginald Lloyd Sr. says he is driving less because he is paying more for gas. He is not convinced a three month pause on the federal gas tax is the right move.

"We need something that's going to last permanently," he said. "It's steady going up, up, up. So when he (President Biden) does, and the three months are up, what's going to happen then?"

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers called for suspending the federal gas tax back in March until the end of the year, but did to support postponing the state gas tax.

Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher from Green Bay called President Biden's temporary suspension of the federal gas tax a gimmick and blamed the Biden Administration for what he called a "crazy war on energy producers."

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