Virginia’s governor still hopes for a gas tax holiday

Last week, lawmakers in Richmond sent Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin their proposed budget for the next two years, and Youngkin has just a few more days to make his proposed revisions and return it to the General Assembly.

Speaking with reporters Monday after an event in Crystal City, Youngkin repeatedly touched on inflation and other “kitchen-table issues” he’s hearing about, and said he’s still fighting for a gas tax holiday.

“My proposal has been to suspend it for three months and to have it come back,” Youngkin said.

“That’s 26 cents a gallon for regular and 27 cents a gallon for diesel that we can suspend. We have plenty of money to pay for it. There’s over a billion dollars of excess money in our commonwealth transportation fund that can pay for this. We could suspend it for July, August, September, and have it come back in the late fall and winter when gas prices are going to decline anyway naturally.”

Youngkin blamed Senate Democrats for an impasse over the issue.

“We’re still working,” he vowed. “It is the single biggest topic that I hear from Virginians as I travel around. … I’m going to continue to work hard on this.”

If the governor ultimately prevails on the topic, he admitted some drivers would likely see some sticker shock again once the tax suspension expired.

“They notice it when it comes back,” he conceded, “but 26 cents a gallon or 27 cents for diesel is a lot of money in Virginians’ pockets.”

The governor has seven days from the time he received the budget from lawmakers to make his revisions and submit them for consideration. Last week, the Richmond Times Dispatch reported that lawmakers were bracing for a return to the state capitol on Friday because the current budget runs out at the end of the month.

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John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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