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LaSata supports gas tax suspension to lower costs for Michigan drivers

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved legislation aimed at lowering costs at the pump for Michigan drivers.

The plan, which Sen. Kim LaSata supported, would eliminate the sales, excise and use taxes on regular and diesel fuels in Michigan.

“Every day, it seems we approach a new record high for gas prices,” said LaSata, R-Niles. “It’s gotten wildly out of control — people can’t afford to drive to work or to the store. Something needs to be done.”

The state of Michigan currently imposes a 27.2 cents per gallon excise tax on gasoline and diesel fuel, and the price of both fuels are subject to Michigan’s 6% sales and use taxes.

Senate Bill 1029 would suspend the state’s excise tax on gasoline and diesel fuel from June 15 to Sept. 15. It would also provide $300 million for local governments to cover revenue lost during the gas tax suspension. SBs 972, 973 and 974 would suspend the state’s 6% sales and use taxes on motor fuel for the same time period.

According to AAA, on May 19, the average price per gallon for regular gasoline in Michigan was $4.58 and the average diesel price was $5.27 — both of which are the highest recorded average in the state’s history. Suspending the excise and sales taxes on gasoline is estimated to save Michigan drivers 51-cents per gallon at the pump.

“We are working to lower taxes and reduce the financial burden for struggling families, and this is another effort to try and get some money back into people’s pockets,” LaSata said. “Responsible budgeting and use of taxpayer dollars have put us in a position to be able to afford this and help offset the sky-high costs at the pump — especially as we approach the annual agriculture and tourism seasons.”

The bills have been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.