Tax Relief

MassFiscal urges Governor Charlie Baker to take a two-month trip with gasoline tax relief

The Mass Fiscal Alliance is calling on Governor Charlie Baker to use a portion of the state’s $ 4.6 billion rainy-day fund to give drivers two-month gasoline tax vacation as prices hit their highest Thanksgiving week average since 2012 reach.

The tax break would follow the two-month sales tax vacation that Baker successfully pushed for in June.

Now that the state is overflowing with cash and drivers are seeing the highest cost of gasoline – averaging $ 3.42 a gallon – since 2012 when it was $ 3.58, MassFiscal Baker is urging drivers to take a “much-needed” two-month break of the state’s 24-cents-per-gallon gas tax, said Paul Craney, alliance spokesman.

“Reg. Baker should do everything possible to relieve drivers who have to drive to work, pick up their children from school and make long trips to visit family and friends over the holidays, ”said Craney.

Baker’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

Massachusetts rakes in about $ 50 million a month in gas tax revenue, Craney said. A gas tax exemption would follow the two-month sales tax exemption that Baker pushed for in June, which took advantage of some of the state’s excess tax revenue

“When he first ran in 2014, he knew the importance of fuel prices to the working population of Massachusetts,” said Craney. “He now has the opportunity to help drivers when they need his guidance most. We hope he takes it. “

“Rainy day money is money that is held to relieve taxpayers,” said Frank Conte, a policy analyst at the Beacon Hill Institute, a conservative think tank. “For many years, lawmakers have avoided giving those dollars back to taxpayers. But giving drivers a rare tax break isn’t a bad thing. “

President Biden on Tuesday, in coordination with other major energy consumers such as India, Britain and China, ordered a record release of 50 million barrels of oil from America’s strategic reserves to cut gasoline and other costs.

US action is focused on helping Americans cope with higher fuel and other prices before Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. Gasoline prices are around $ 3.40 per gallon, according to the American Automobile Association, more than 50% higher than a year ago.

“Although our joint actions will not solve the problems of high gas prices overnight, it will make a difference,” Biden promised in a White House statement. “It will take time, but soon you should see the price of gas dropping where you fill your tank.”

Herald Wire Services contributed to this report.

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