INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Statehouse Democrats are renewing their push for Gov. Eric Holcomb to suspend Indiana’s gas tax.
Hoosiers are currently paying more in state gas taxes than ever before at 56.1 cents a gallon. That includes Indiana’s gas excise tax of 32 cents per gallon and Indiana’s gas sales tax, which is 7% of the statewide average price of a gallon of gas and is recalculated monthly. Indiana’s gas sales tax is currently 24.1 cents a gallon for the month of May, according to the Indiana Department of Revenue.
The rising prices have many Hoosiers feeling pinched at the pump.
“It’s really expensive,” said Tyler Boyd of Indianapolis. “It makes traveling a bit harder.”
“Gas prices rise, so you got to cut back on some things ’cause you still got to get groceries,” said James Carter, Jr., another Indianapolis resident.
Democratic state lawmakers are calling for Indiana’s gas excise tax and gas sales tax to be suspended for at least three months.
“Memorial Day’s coming up, we have summer’s coming up,” said State Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis). “People want to travel and do things.”
But Gov. Holcomb argues he doesn’t have the power to suspend the state’s gas tax.
“For an Indiana governor to suspend the gas tax through a declaration of an energy emergency, the state must have an existing or projected energy shortfall that would jeopardize life, health and property,” Holcomb said in a statement. “We have not met that threshold.”
Holcomb points out other states that have suspended their gas tax did so through their legislatures. Democrats proposed the idea in March before the end of the session, but the Republican supermajority declined to move forward.
Porter argues lawmakers can still take action later this month or sometime over the summer. Although it could cost the state more than $400 million, Porter points out Indiana has access to new federal funds that can be used for roads, as well as an anticipated $5 billion surplus.
“There’s a lot of issues, a lot of comments about how we can’t get this done,” Porter said. “But I really believe and I know that we can if we have the political will and the will of the people.”
We’ve reached out to Republican state lawmakers for this story and are still waiting to hear back.