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Drivers could see relief at pump with gas tax break bill but road commission doesn't want legislation to pass

Posted at 11:14 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 23:14:45-05

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — Drivers are one step closer to getting a break at the pump after the Michigan House voted to pass a temporary repeal of the $0.27 per gallon gas tax.

The bill still must go through the Senate next week. Drivers wish the vote could happen sooner because they say they need an immediate break at the pumps.

“We have to be cutting out some few things that is less important," said Topthiom Bane.

This Southfield resident is talking about her budget. She now spends about $20 more to fill up her truck. It used to cost her about $50 just weeks ago. It's an amount she tells me she can't keep paying.

She wants lawmakers to act now.

While some drivers like Bane want the bill to pass when it reaches the Senate, the Oakland County Road Commission is trying to stop this from passing.

“Right now, we are actually talking to our legislator trying to prevent it from getting approved," said Senior Communications Manager for the commission, Craig Bryson.

Bryson says suspending the gas tax impacts their funding.

“That's about 50% of the state road funding for Michigan," he adds.

If the bill passes, the state could lose almost $725,000,000 in revenue, money Craig Bryson tells us is used for operations and road improvements across the state.

“It covers everything from staff salaries and wages to equipment. Fuels for our vehicles. Upcoming paving projects," he adds.

He tells 7 Action News that there are so many unanswered questions with pausing the gas tax.

‘The legislature is talking about potentially backfilling the money with state general fund revenue which is concerning for us. We are not sure when we will be reimbursed for that money," Bryson adds.

He says if the bill passes the commission may have to pause some projects, but they will continue with the priorities.

“We will continue to do all the pothole patching and all the snow plowing and acting if needed. We will not stop doing that," he adds.

Drivers say they don't mind a pause if it means they can get a break.

“I’m big on driving and all that stuff so gas is important. I be driving around a lot," said Justice Akubuiro.

Bane says, “this is more important because of the livelihood of people. We need this to survive.”