HOUSTON - As gas prices hover around historically high levels, President Joe Biden is now pushing on congress to pass a federal gas tax holiday.
If passed, the tax holiday would suspend a roughly 18-cent/gallon of gas tax and 24-cent/gallon tax on of diesel. The federal gas tax is a primary source of funding for roads, bridges, and overpasses.
According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of gas Wednesday in Texas was $4.62 and $5.31 for diesel.
"I remember when it was two-something," said Justin Chavez. "Now, it’s $5.39. Very expensive and I have diesel."
President Biden said the proposed gas tax holiday would go for three months. Drivers we met at a gas station Wednesday in Houston had mixed feeling on the effectiveness of the proposal.
"It won’t make much change in my truck," said Keith Nelson. "I guess I’m going to drop down to a Toyota Corolla."
According to Dr. Ramanan Krishnamoorti from the University of Houston, the tax suspension would save most drivers about $15 per month. However, he says the impacts could be felt more broadly and lower costs for other items like food.
"It would save drivers $15 to $20 per month on average," said Dr. Krishnamoorti. "This is not like going back to $2 per gallon of gasoline. [However], it starts to give us some way of saying this is not just a one way street. It is a good thing in the short term. In the long term, what do we do? We’ve got to start adjusting policy, a systematic shift to make sure that we don’t discourage refining, and we don’t discourage oil and gas production."
President Biden acknowledged that he’d like states to drop their state gas taxes as well. In Texas, drivers pay a state gas tax of about 20 cents per gallon of gas.