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Whitmer says she’s open to “relief” for cost of fuel

a gas pump
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
The Michigan Legislature is pushing for a gas tax holiday as gas prices rise.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signaled she’ll veto a bill to suspend the state’s fuel tax amid concerns the Russian invasion of Ukraine will drive up the cost of imported gas and oil.

But she may be open to other options.

The latest version of a bill adopted by the Legislature would temporarily suspend the state fuel tax, but Whitmer’s not happy with that version.

The whole thing is complicated by the failure of a procedural vote. That vote result stops the bill from taking effect until a year from now — if Whitmer signs it.

“I’ve said consistently that if the Legislature is serious about giving people some relief, I’m all in,” the governor said at an appearance in Detroit. “I’ve proposed a lot of different ways to do that.”

But Whitmer spoke broadly and did not specifically mention fuel taxes among those proposals.

But there may be another option. Consumers pay a per-gallon fuel tax at the pump. But they also pay the 6% state sales tax.

Inflation in the price of fuel has boosted revenue from the sales tax collected on fossil fuel fill-ups. That windfall could fund a pause in collecting that tax.

Republicans in the Legislature have expressed support. So have Democrats. Whitmer has not said yes. But she also has not said no.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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