CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — With gas prices continuing to spike, many are looking toward their political leaders to do something to ease the problem. Experts such as Triple-A say the prices are likely to get worse as we head into summer.
For months there have been calls in West Virginia to suspend its 35.7-cent gas tax to help drivers.
Across the nation, only five states have suspended the tax. Maryland is the only neighboring state to do so. As of Thursday, June 2, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear froze the Bluegrass State’s gas tax to prevent it from rising higher this summer.
People on both sides of the aisle in West Virginia are urging governor and legislature to suspend the gas tax.
“These outrageous gas prices are hitting every single home. They’re hitting every single business. If we provide, at a minimum, some temporary relief to the people out there,” said Del. Chris Pritt, (R) Kanawha.
“It’s $4.50 a gallon. When we started this conversation two months ago, it was just a few cents under four-dollars and there was no action taken then. We need to do something,” said State Sen. Richard Lindsay, (D) Kanawha.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice is concerned highway repair and maintenance dollars would be adversely affected by temporarily suspending the gas tax, but he says lawmakers need to send him bills before he can act, and that he remains willing to discuss.
“If this is not just a fruitless mission, and there is real desire from the legislature’s side, you know I stand absolutely open,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.
Tax cut supporters say the prices are now so high something should be done, and soon. Right now the full West Virginia Legislature is not scheduled to meet until January, unless a special session is called.