March 31, 2022 News & Press Releases

Gas Tax Won’t Help Consumers – Governor Glenn Youngkin

by Democratic Party of Virginia

Richmond, VA – Yesterday in an interview with ABC 8, Governor Youngkin admitted that his gas tax holiday will not guarantee savings for consumers and will instead benefit big businesses. As part of his latest act in political theater, it’s clear that Governor Youngkin is more concerned with playing politics rather than providing relief to struggling Virginians. This comes after Democrats have continued to call on Governor Youngkin to investigate bad actors' price gouging at the pump. 

ABC 8: Youngkin says gas tax holiday proposal won’t guarantee savings for consumers

By Jackie DeFusco

  • Governor Glenn Youngkin wants to temporarily suspend the entire state portion of the gas tax to give Virginians relief at the pump but, in an interview on Wednesday, he acknowledged it won’t guarantee savings for consumers. 
  • When asked if the legislation would guarantee savings to consumers, Youngkin said, “We can’t guarantee anything and, oh by the way, I think government intervention into private markets is why we’re in this trouble right now.” 
  • Clifford Winston, a senior fellow of economic studies at the Brookings Institution, said consumers may see a small impact from the gas tax holiday, but not enough to justify possible market disruptions from government intervention.
  • “No, it’s not a good idea,” Winston said. “I think politically is really where you’re going to see the efficacy, right? I mean, from an economic point of view, this is just too small a ticket item really to make a huge difference. And importantly, this is not targeted to, you know, low income workers or less affluent households.”
  • Virginians for High Speed Rail Executive Director Danny Plaugher disagrees. “Our transportation system is going to get decimated. Virginia is the only state who is proposing a gas tax holiday that’s not also back filling transportation revenue. We’re also the only state that’s proposing it that’s also cutting another stream of transportation funding, and that’s the grocery tax, at the exact same time,” Plaugher said. 
  • Taken together, Plaugher projects various tax cut proposals being negotiated in the General Assembly could remove up to $2 billion in transportation revenue over the next six years, with rail and transit seeing a decline of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars. 
  • “The simple fact of the matter is that we’re not going to be flush with cash very soon as the inflationary economics start impacting our transportation system as well,” Plaugher said. “If you cut transportation funding today, what you’re doing is maybe canceling projects that could get done tomorrow and now they’re going to be done in three or four years and they’re going to cost twice as much.”