Dueling proposals to counter high gas prices in Virginia


House Democrats in Virginia have their own plan to ease the pain of residents at the pump.

House Democrats in Virginia have their own plan to ease the pain of residents at the pump.

Under their proposal, the Virginia Treasury Department would distribute direct $50 refunds to Virginia car owners, up to $100 per household.

Democratic lawmakers say it’s a better and cheaper alternative to legislation proposed by Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, which would suspend the state’s gasoline tax of 26 cents per gallon for three months, starting in May. .

“Governor Youngkin’s plan is riddled with holes that will cause lasting harm to Virginia and the people who live here,” Democratic Caucus Chair Charniele Herring said in a press release Friday.

Democrats argue that a gas tax break would benefit out-of-state drivers and the oil industry more than Virginians, and take too much money away from highway projects.

Youngkin said the unanticipated surplus of more than $1 billion from the Commonwealth Transportation Fund would cover the cost of a gasoline tax exemption.

“Virginia should join many other states, led by both Republicans and Democrats, in temporarily suspending the gas tax,” Youngkin said Monday. “Action speaks louder than words; we can lower gas prices now for all Virginians.

Maryland, Connecticut and Georgia all have gasoline tax holidays. An effort to extend Maryland’s 30-day tax suspension was recently defeated.

The timeline for voting on either proposal is still unclear. Lawmakers are currently out of session.

A spokesperson for Virginia House Democrats told OMCP that Democratic lawmakers would be prepared to act on their proposal once they are called back into session by Republican leaders in the General Assembly.

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