Biden urges states to suspend gas tax, but Wisconsin has seen little movement

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 4:02 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - President Joe Biden urged congressmembers Wednesday to approve a three-month suspension of the federal gas and diesel taxes. At the same time, he called on the states offer similar relief at the pump.

“I’m doing my part. I want Congress, states and industry to do their part as well,” he said in a White House speech.

For Wisconsin drivers, suspending both federal and state gas taxes and fees would save Dairy State drivers over 50 cents per gallon. Currently, the federal government tacks on 18.4 cents in taxes per gallon of gasoline (for diesel, it’s 24.4 cents), while Wisconsin taxes and fees add over 33 cents to the total.

While Biden will make his appeal to states Wednesday, Gov. Tony Evers has indicated little movement on the issue at the state level. On March 8, the Democratic governor joined for other governors to ask the federal government to suspend its gas tax.

Evers told NBC15 News the next day that he was not prepared to move at the state level, describing the issue as a federal one.

“I think we focus first on the federal government. This is a federal government issue.  We’re not at war in the State of Wisconsin with Ukraine.  It is the United States of America and that’s where we need to look first,” Evers told an NBC15 News photojournalist during a news conference.

At the time, AAA was reporting Wisconsin drivers were paying just under $4 per gallon on average.

On June 6, the Evers Administration explained suspending the tax would require the legislature to act, noting that it is out of session at the time. The statement also noted that lawmakers immediately ended a special session the governor ordered, regarding the budget surplus and his proposal to provide refunds to state residents.

On Wednesday, Evers signed an order designed to bar price gouging on gasoline. By making that declaration, Evers could implement a ban on the sale of wholesale and retail diesel and gasoline “at unreasonably excessive prices.” The order will remain in effect until Dec. 1.

NBC15 News reached out to the Evers Administration again following reports of the White House’s announcement to ask if the President’s call for states to act will affect his plans. This story will be updated with any response.

Copyright 2022 WMTV. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this article.