LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday proposed temporarily freezing Michigan’s 6% sales tax on gasoline and diesel fuel to bring down high gas pump prices and keep road and bridge financing intact.
The Democratic governor’s statement came a week after she signaled a veto on Republicans’ attempt to suspend another tax at the pump — the 27.2-cent-a-gallon gasoline and diesel tax — for six months.
“A short-term hiatus is a fiscally responsible action we can take to provide drivers with relief at the pump now – not next year – while protecting funding for road repairs and saving tens of thousands of well-paying construction jobs,” Whitmer said , which has also asked Congress to freeze the federal gasoline tax at 18.4 cents per gallon and the diesel tax at 24.4 cents.
“While I am open to negotiating alternative proposals, I will not support legislation that jeopardizes road repairs, construction, or local school funding,” the statement said.
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Leaders of both parties in the Republican-controlled Senate are open to eliminating or suspending the fuel sales tax. But House Republicans aren’t on board, saying motorists would save more if the per-gallon tax stopped, especially if prices fall.
Sales taxes collected at the pump go primarily to schools and local authorities. Whitmer indicated that school funding would be protected if an agreement is reached.
The nationwide average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was about $4.18, down from a record high of $4.26 just over a week earlier. It was up from $3.37 a month ago.
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