(The Center Square) – A temporary suspension of the gas tax is the focus on one public policy group’s renewed focus in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, or MASSFiscal, is renewing its call for the Legislature to temporarily suspend the state’s 24 cents per gallon excise tax as fuel prices reached $4.985 per gallon in the state on Wednesday, according to AAA. The Bay State is slightly above the national average of $4.955.
MASSFiscal’s request comes on the heels of President Joe Biden calling for a temporary suspension of the 18.3 cents per gallon federal tax on gasoline.
“Even the President of the United States now gets it,” Paul D. Craney, spokesman for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, said in a news release. “Anyone who needs to drive – which is almost everyone – is feeling the pinch of high fuel prices in a very acute way right now. Speaker Mariano and Senate President Spilka continue to come off as incredibly out of touch with their obstinate attitudes to this common-sense proposal.”
According to MASSFiscal, earlier this month Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, who is running for lieutenant governor, said she was receptive of the idea of suspending the state’s gasoline tax in the short-term to give relief to state residents.
Sen. Eric Lesser, D-1st Hampden, according to the release, also a candidate for lieutenant governor, said that as long as there was no negative effect on the state’s bond rating, he would support suspending the state’s gasoline tax.
According to the release, Lesser voted against a temporary suspension of the tax in March and May of this year when Republican proposals came before the Senate.
“State lawmakers and their governors in New York, Connecticut and New Hampshire all get it,” Craney said. “Both Republican candidates for governor have understood the value in pursuing this proposal for months. The President of the United States and even some statewide Democratic candidates now get it. It’s time for Senate President Spilka and Speaker Mariano to stop being so stubborn and pursue this common sense proposal.”