With prices high and a busy travel season ahead, will South Dakota's leaders support gas tax relief?
Many South Dakotas are expected to hit the road this summer and every one of them will be watching the prices at the gas pump as they journey out for business, vacation and work.
42 million people across the country will head out on the highway this summer on trips of 50 miles or more, including 118,000 South Dakotans That will be the busiest road travel season in a while.
“The volume of travelers we expect to see over Independence Day is a definite sign that summer travel is kicking into high gear,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president forAAA Travel in a statement. We started seeing a demand for travel increase earlier this year. People are ready for a break and are finding ways to still take that vacation even though it costs more.
Air travel frequencies are dropping and road travel is picking up due to consumers shaking off the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent issues with air travel and ongoing concerns of cancellation and delays may be driving the share of people travelling by air to the lowest level since 2011. The projected decrease in air travel by South Dakotans is 3% this year.
Car travel is expected to set a new record despite high gas prices, with 42 million people taking to the road, an increase of 0.4% from 2011. In South Dakota, the number of travelers driving to their destinations will be down slightly, with more than 99,000 residents traveling by car.
Car travel is more convenient than air travel for many people.
Given the recent challenges of flying, people may be looking for a level of comfort and flexibility that traveling by car provides. Not all destinations are within driving distance so you don’t have to abandon your vacation plans. Travelers are advised to work with a travel agent who can help plan for the unexpected, like flight cancellation. They are your advocate.
Consumers are looking for any relief they can get at the pump with so many travelers expected on the road between June 30 and July 4. The federal gas tax could be suspended for three months to reduce the impact on travelers.
There is a tax of 18.4 cents per gallon of gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon of diesel. According to the White House, a suspension would cost around $10 billion in tax revenue.
It isn’t a complete solution to the issue but it could help consumers.
Biden understands that the gas tax holiday alone is not going to fix the problem. “But it will give families some immediate relief, just a little bit of breathing room, as we continue to work to bring down prices for the long haul.”
Biden called on states to give relief to consumers.
South Dakota charges a tax of 28 cents per gallon for gasoline, natural gasoline and undyed diesel. Liquid petroleum gas, ethyl alcohol and jet fuel are taxed at the state level by the South Dakota Department of Revenue.
The state gets a large amount of income from those taxes. In the last three years, those taxes brought in $211,993,156, $209,762,406, and $209,669,376. On an average, that comes out to $210,923,107.
Motor fuel tax is deposited into a state highway fund. South Dakota laws 10-47B-149 dictate where it goes. Non-highway purposes include counties and townships.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average gas tax in the country is 31 cents per gallon.
The national average price for a gallon of gasoline in June was $4.955. South Dakota is the 19th lowest in the country. Georgia has the lowest average gasoline price at $4.451 and California has the highest at $6.372.
Legislators in Washington, D.C. support the federal gas tax suspension.
Manchin told ABC that he is not on a “yes” vote right now.
“Now, to do that and put another hole into the budget is something that is very concerning to me, and people need to realize that 18 cents is not going to be straight across the board — it never has been that you’ll see in 18 cents exactly penny-for-penny
The Mitchell Republic reached out to representatives for Sen. John Thune, Sen. Mike Rounds, Rep. Dusty Johnson, and Gov. Noem about their position on the proposed federal gas tax suspension.
Johnson posted messages on his official account against the proposal.
The proposal to suspend the gas tax is bad. It doesn’t prioritize American energy, doesn’t help consumers, and takes from our roads and bridges. The real problem is not being attacked. The price of gas has increased since the President was sworn in. A back of a gas tax doesn’t give us the relief we need. It’s not about taxes, it’s about supply.
The issue at hand has to do with demand and supply.
The laws of supply and demand are mightier than the ones in DC. Unless the White House works to increase supply, we will continue to see gas prices go up. Consumers will suffer as prices continue to rise. The gas tax supports roads and bridges. I don’t understand why the administration would prefer to rob the highway trust fund.
The President’s proposal to suspend the ⛽️gas tax is a terrible idea. It steals from our roads and bridges, won’t help consumers, and doesn’t prioritize American energy. Here’s why:
— Rep. Dusty Johnson (@RepDustyJohnson) June 22, 2022
He said investing in American refineries would be a better approach to the problem.
These supply shortages have been going on for a long while. Since the 1970s, we haven’t built a refinery. It is almost impossible to allow energy infrastructure. E-15 is not a year-round sport. The gas tax holiday will not put us back on the right track.
Increased American production of energy is a better solution to the gas price problem.
The administration has failed on an issue that is fundamental to the American people, and that is the price they are paying for a gallon of gasoline. The administration is coming out with another band-aid and something that is dead on arrival in Congress. The president knows it, Democrats know it, and we are told that he has been told about it. The question is why people at the White HOuse continue to talk about ideas that are going nowhere. They are talking about trying to convince other countries around the world to increase their energy production when we have plentiful energy supplies in the United States.
Suspending the federal gas tax is just a flimsy band-aid for this admin’s self-inflicted energy crisis.
It’s long past time that the president takes it seriously instead of jumping from one gimmick to the next. pic.twitter.com/s9QCl2duBX