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Indiana Democrats renew push for gas tax suspension amid record high prices

Alan Mbathi
/
IPB News
Hoosiers are currently paying almost 75 center per gallon in state and federal taxes when they get gas.

Hoosiers are currently paying almost 75 cents per gallon in state and federal taxes when they get gas.

Statehouse Democrats are making a renewed push for Indiana to suspend its gas taxes while prices are the highest they’ve ever been.

There’s a 32-cent state gas tax on every gallon you fill up. Republicans raised the gas tax by 10 cents in 2017, as part of their major infrastructure funding bill. They also built in automatic, 1 cent per year increases to the rate through 2024, to help keep up with inflation. That means Indiana's gas tax will go up to 33 cents per gallon in July.

Indiana is also one of only about a dozen states that imposes a sales tax on gasoline. That rate is calculated each month, based on the statewide average gas price. For May, the rate is about 24 cents per gallon – and it will go up in June.

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Rep. Mitch Gore (D-Indianapolis) said the governor should call a special session so that lawmakers can pause those taxes through Labor Day.

“I think, at a time when Hoosier families are feeling pain at the pump, the least we could do is provide some relief by suspending the gas tax,” Gore said.

There’s also a federal gas tax that’s about 18 cents per gallon, which Indiana doesn’t control.

Most of Indiana’s gas tax revenues go to help build and maintain roads and bridges. But Gore said the state can replace the dollars lost during the gas tax suspension with the billions of dollars Indiana has in its budget reserves.

“It’s sort of unconscionable to not provide some relief for families,” Gore said.

Statehouse Republicans rejected calls from Democrats in March to temporarily halt gas taxes. And Gov. Eric Holcomb has repeatedly said only that he doesn't have the authority to suspend gas taxes through his executive powers.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Copyright 2022 IPB News. To see more, visit .

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.