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WVPE News

Elkhart Common Council passes resolution calling for legislature to temporarily suspend gas tax

Gas prices over $7.00 a gallon are displayed at a Chevron gas station in Menlo Park, Calif., on May 25.
Justin Sullivan
/
Getty Images
Gas prices over $7.00 a gallon are displayed at a Chevron gas station in Menlo Park, Calif., on May 25.

The Elkhart Common Council passed a resolution Monday calling for the Indiana State Legislature to suspend the state’s gas tax for six months.

Council Member Aaron Mishler introduced the resolution. He says inflation is hitting small business owners and those on fixed incomes hard and suspending the state gas tax is a way to help them out.

“Folks need some relief,” Mishler said. “Even if the governor doesn’t heed our attention and doesn’t call the special session to do this, I would much rather try to do what I can to help my constituents than nothing at all.”

Right now, Hoosiers pay 32 cents per gallon in state taxes — set to increase to 33 cents in July — as well as a sales tax of seven percent of the average cost of a gallon in the state during the previous month.

According to AAA, statewide gas prices are currently averaging $5.22 per gallon. But some council members were opposed to the measure.

“This really does not do anything to curb inflation,” Council Member Kevin Bullard said. “It’s a feel-good resolution.”

Concerns raised by Bullard and other council members included that suspending the tax is not the best way to combat inflation, would only benefit those who drive and could negatively impact funding for INDOT.

However, the resolution eventually passed on a 6 to 3 vote.

Indiana is currently on track for a $6 billion budget surplus. Republican state legislative leaders have consistently been against using some of those dollars to temporarily suspend the state gas tax.

Contact Jakob at jlazzaro@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @JakobLazzaro.

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