Ohio Governor Mike DeWine weighed in on President Biden’s proposal to temporarily suspend federal and state taxes on gas from Columbus. In theory, this would help alleviate the pain of historically high fuel costs. Biden is pushing hard, but it won’t become a reality unless Congress approves. He is, however, pushing states to enact the suspension. Governor DeWine has no interest in pushing the fuel tax suspension and for good reason. He says it would cripple current projects and postpone Ohio’s progress. Essentially, citizens would save an insignificant amount to remove millions of dollars from the state. By the numbers, it doesn’t make sense. Some states have enacted fuel tax suspensions. They call it a “gas holiday” and citizens are generally happy with its roll out. Unfortunately, it’s been received with mixed reviews. The average consumer doesn’t see much benefit, but the states see serious losses.
$587 million dollars. That’s the amount the state would lose if it suspended the fuel tax. The proposal is to suspend the fuel tax for three months. In those three months, $355 million could be raised for state projects and another $232 million for local county projects. That’s a lot of money. The state fuel tax for Ohio is 38.5 cents per gallon. If the average person drove a car that got 25 miles per gallon, they would save $55.44 in that three-month period. That’s not enough to write home about, and more than likely, they wouldn’t even notice their savings. However, the government would notice.
A Fuel Tax Suspension Could Make Things Worse
With record high inflation and people struggling in more places than just the gas pump, a fuel tax suspension is not the answer. States that approved the gas holiday just happen to be in states with governors’ elections coming up. It’s no secret that politicians are using this as a way to get voter approval. With Biden seriously struggling at the polls, it’s no surprise that he’s interested in suspending taxes. It’s a way to pump up his numbers and get higher approval ratings. However, it could end up crippling projects and might even cost people their jobs. Without that funding, construction and maintenance projects could get cut.
For now, Ohio residents will just have to muscle through at the pump. Like the rest of the world, we’ll have to wait until things get better. When Russian conflict opens up their fuel trade, or supply chain bottlenecks clear things could portentially get back to normal. It’s a rat’s nest of problems that a fuel tax suspension will do nothing but exacerbate.