Gasoline prices have reached record highs in recent weeks, spurring lawmakers across the country to look for ways to offer some relief.
A popular target: the excise taxes the federal government and states collect to fund transportation programs. Some congressional Democrats have floated a suspension of the 18.3 cent-per-gallon federal gas tax, while many governors are pursuing state holidays that could provide some temporarily relief to drivers.
Temporarily ditching the gas tax would offer some obvious political benefits for lawmakers running for re-election this year. But how much would it actually help consumers with the national average for regular gasoline up to well over $4 a gallon and gas prices nearing $6 a gallon in California?
Lucy Dadayan and Howard Gleckman of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center appear on the latest episode of our weekly Talking Tax podcast to talk about proposed gas tax holidays. Gleckman argues that suspending the federal excise tax could actually fuel further price increases, while Dadayan suggests states should instead look at targeted tax rebates to help low-income families struggling with inflation.
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