Economist Says Federal Gas Tax Waiver Will Lead to Small Savings

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TAMPA, Fla. — President Joe Biden is asking for a 3-month gas tax waiver. It would remove the 18-cent payment that gas suppliers currently pay federal authorities for each gallon of normal gas offered.

“I’m calling on businesses to pass every penny of this 18-cent cut back to consumers,” Biden said.

And it’s an idea that’s not new to the state of Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis authorized one – scheduled for October – a few months ago. It will remove the 25-cent tax that gas suppliers pay to the state.

Victor Claar, an economist at Florida Gulf Coast University, says the savings from that month-long period in Florida wouldn’t be huge for people at the pump, but it would be one thing.

“That would be about $40 per household in Florida,” he said.

If the president’s proposal passes, Claar says people will have to wait and see how much savings they’ll actually get. But he adds that a bigger concern is the possible long-term repercussions of the tax exemption.

“If you give all Americans a gas tax cut of about 18 cents per gallon for three months, that’s $65 million to $70 million a day in federal tax revenue that your federal government won’t collect, and one of the questions I as an economist is how the federal government will make up that difference,” he said.

To help lower gas prices, President Biden will ask oil refining companies to improve manufacturing, so more refined gas can reach the pumps.

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