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Friday, 06 May 2022 14:10

Senate Committee to Consider Temporary Suspension of Alaska's Gas Tax

Written by Kim Jarrett, The Center Square

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The Senate Transportation Committee will consider a bill to suspend Alaska's 8 cents-per-gallon gas tax through June 30, 2023. 

Gov. Mike Dunleavy asked state lawmakers in March to amend House Bill 104, which would have increased the fuel tax from 8 cents to 16 cents per gallon. The gas tax, which is the lowest in the country, has not changed since 1970. The bill initially sought to raise the surcharge on refined fuels. 

 

The House of Representatives approved the bill 36-2 on May 4. 

 

Gas prices in Alaska are averaging $4.687 a gallon for regular unleaded across the state and are as high as $5.159 in some regions, according to AAA. Last year the cost for a gallon of regular unleaded gas was $3.243.

 

Revenue from oil makes up more than 50% of the state's unrestricted general fund. March revenue figures projected a $3.4 billion surplus because of higher oil prices, according to recent news. While the state is seeing a surplus, families are stuck with higher gas prices, according to the governor.

 

"The misery wrought from these worldwide events is, indirectly, propelling the revenues to Alaska's state government," Dunleavy wrote in a letter to lawmakers in March. "Oil prices are at record levels, and, unlike the high oil price environment of 2007-2014, this climb is occurring with concurrent increases in all costs of living."

 

If passed by the Senate and signed by the governor, the bill would take effect immediately. 

 

We thank The Center Square for reprint permission.