Gas prices have reached multi-year highs as anyone who drives or uses a car can attest to. Along with high inflation, soaring gas prices are now part of the daily zeitgeist.
Energy and basic living expenses (like food and shelter), make up 30% to 60% of most households expenditures, so clearly this is a hot button topic. Which is why government leaders have to respond, or else face some pretty angry constituents.
Unfortunately it looks like increased demand and supply constraints will continue to create upward pressure gas prices for the foreseeable future.
Most experts are now predicting prices won’t start falling until after September (Labor day) and until then the measures discussed below are the best forms of gas prices relief available to consumers.
State Governments responding to high gas prices
As gas prices continue to rise pressure is ratcheting up on government leaders to do more. While many state governments are extending or providing gas tax relief, this is not slowing the increase in gas prices which are subject to global factors.
And respond they have. From California to New Jersey and from Maine to Florida, state governors and leaders are now putting forward or have instituted direct gas relief stimulus payments, tax breaks/refunds or gas tax exemptions/holidays to help their state’s residents and business cope with rising gas prices.
Below is a list of what is being proposed, implemented or available now in various states.
It looks like gas tax holidays are the most popular initial option, with nearly 18 states temporarily pausing or lowering gas taxes as a way to combat soaring gas prices at the pump. You can see the table below for more details.
Most of the current actions are being done on a state-by-state basis where the average state gas tax is about 39 cents per gallon.
Federal Gas Rebate Act of 2022 (Gas Stimulus Check)
President Biden has recently indicated he is supported of a temporary federal gas tax exemption, which would be worth around 18 cents per gallon (or 24 cents for diesel) based on current federal gas tax rates.
Gas taxes are used to fund transportation infrastructure across the country.
However Democratic law makers are pushing for the Biden administration to do a stimulus check instead of providing gas tax relief, because they believe a gas tax rebate will benefit gas tax companies more than drivers. Republicans not surprisingly have the opposite view.
Three Congressional Democrat representatives, have introduced the Gas Rebate Act of 2022 which would send a rebate (or a gas stimulus check) to households worth $100 a month for each adult and $100 to each qualified dependent through the end of the year.
The rebate, however, would only be sent to households living in areas where the average price of the gallon is above $4.00.
While the passage of the above stimulus program is far from certain, as gas prices rise I expect direct stimulus payments, as California is proposing, to come more into the discussion given the popularity of past stimulus check payments.
Feel free to leave a comment below if I have missed any and I will continue updating this table regularly.
State Gas Tax Relief and Proposals
|State||Gas Prices Relief Benefit||Status|
|California||– Up to $800 refund for gas taxes or $400 per registered vehicle |
– 3 months of free public transportation
|Connecticut||Gas tax suspension (25c p/gallon benefit) from April until June 2022||Passed|
|Florida||Cut or lower gas tax (25.3c p/gallon benefit) from October – though push is to start this in July||Proposed|
|Georgia||Temporarily suspended state gas taxes (29.1c p/gallon benefit) through May 31st||Passed|
|Maine||Cut or lower gas taxes||Proposed|
|Maryland||Suspended state gas taxes (36.1c p/gallon benefit) for 30 days||Passed|
|Massachusetts||Cut or lower gas taxes||Proposed|
|Michigan||Temporarily lower state gas taxes (27c p/gallon benefit)||Proposed|
|Minnesota||Temporary discount of 28.5 cents per gallon by suspending state’s gas tax between Memorial Day and Labor Day||Proposed|
|New Hampshire||Cut or Lower gas taxes||Proposed|
|New Jersey||– Gas state tax holiday for 60 days (27.9c p/gallon benefit) |
– $500 tax credit for lower income families.
|New York||Suspend gas taxes (16-cents-per-gallon) from June 1 through December 31||Passed|
|North Carolina||Senate Democrats are pushing for a $200 gas tax rebate until October 2022||Proposed|
|Ohio||Along with Kentucky (25c p/g) and Indiana (24c p/g), Ohio (38c p/g) have no gas tax holiday bills under consideration||No Bills|
|Virginia||Tax holiday (26.2c p/gallon benefit) to run from May through July||Did not Pass|
|West Virginia||30-day suspension of the 35.7 cent a gallon gas tax||Proposed|
Retroactive Stimulus Payments
Note that many of the above provisions may struggle to get passed given many state and federal Republicans are pushing back against additional stimulus checks due to the risk of further stoking inflation.
However if they do get passed payments will be made retroactively, likely based on recent tax filings. So make sure you file a recent tax return.