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How proposed gas tax holiday could affect Ohio drivers

Drivers could save dollars per fill-up, but road funding could suffer
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Posted at 5:56 PM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 18:39:01-04

CLEVELAND — Following President Joe Biden’s proposal to halt the federal gas tax, many are wondering how it will look at the pump for them.

As of right now, finding gas below the price of $4 a gallon is now unheard of. Prices have spiked in recent months, from about $1.79 for a gallon of unleaded regular in the Midwest in May 2020 to $4.35 in May 2022.

In an effort to bring relief President Joe Biden proposed a gas tax holiday that would essentially halt the federal tax on gas for three months.

The tax is 18.4 cents per gallon. A GasBuddy representative says when you do the math, it would save drivers a couple of dollars at the pump.

“Well, the pros are that Americans would save $70 million every day, that would come down to about $2 to $5 per fill-up, depending on how big your vehicle's tank is,” said Patrick De Haan with GasBuddy.

But the downfall is that the tax goes to the Highway Trust Fund.

“The 18.4 cents add up to about $70 million a day. And over the course of three months, that would add up to about $6.3 billion,” said De Hann.

Experts at Case Western Reserve University say that a trust fund is crucial, especially in states like Ohio.

“In a place like Cleveland, because we all know — anyone who's driven our roads — we've got the crumbling infrastructure and crumbling bridges and there are real needs,” said Michael Goldberg with CWRU.

If the holiday gas tax holiday passes, it does not guarantee drivers will see a decline in costs.

“Ultimately, individual companies are making decisions on what price they charge at the pump, and there's a number of considerations that go into that,” said Goldberg.

There's also the fear that lower prices will cause the demand to go up.

“So those holiday travelers that are trying to decide whether to drive and see friends and are sort of watching gas prices, if all of a sudden more and more people are getting in there and buying gasoline, that's going to drive prices up," said Goldberg.

The proposal still needs to go through Congress and if passed, consumers won't see the effects for another few weeks.

See where the cheapest places to fill up the tank are in the Cleveland and Akron areas, and see which Ohio counties are paying the most and least for gas on our Gas Prices page here.

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