President Biden announcement on gas tax

WASHINGTON (WHEC) — President Joe Biden will be making an announcement about the gas tax at 2:00 p.m. On Wednesday he called on Congress to lift the federal 18-cent tax on regular gas and 24-cent tax on diesel as a possible way to reduce gas prices.

Biden issued a statement urging Congress to suspend gas taxes through September. He said there is a way to suspend the tax while not reducing the balance in the Highway Trust Fund, which finances highway and public transportation projects using gas tax revenue. Biden also urged states to suspend their gas taxes.

Since June 1, New York State has suspended its 16-cent gas tax and Monroe County has limited its tax collection, which is supposed to save consumers 12 cents. The $0.28 savings in the Rochester area helped to reduce prices earlier in June, but the price for gas stations to refuel their supply has increased, leading to gas prices climbing to record-high levels.

Rochester’s gas prices broke a record on June 15, at an average of $4.98 per gallon, according to AAA. New York State’s average gas prices broke a record the day before that, at $5.04 per gallon.

Biden said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has contributed significantly to the unprecedented prices. He said the executive branch has taken action aiming to lower prices, such as releasing one million barrels per day from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to boost supply and allowing more ethanol blending.

The Associated Press reported that these actions have done little to reduce savings at the pump.

Biden said the tax relief is necessary to "provide direct relief to American consumers who have been hit with Putin’s Price Hike."