CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The fight to cut the state gas tax in West Virginia is far from over. In fact, it’s heating up with greater intensity.
There is pressure with West Virginia and other states to cut the gasoline tax.
For the second time in a week, House and Senate Democrats called on Governor Justice to lift the state’s $0.37 and a half gas tax for a month. They say the average driver would save $8 to $10 every time they fill up.
Maryland has already cut its $0.36 tax and the other neighboring states are considering it.
But Republican leaders say there could be legal problems, saying the tax cut, “could potentially cause the federal government to claw back allotted highway funds, and would put our bonds for the roads to prosperity projects at risk.”
“This will not affect what we are doing with roads. We can take 35 million dollars out of the surplus and fill the gap,” said State Sen. Richard Lindsey, (D) Kanawha.
“Leaders don’t find excuses not to act. Leaders find ways to make it happen. And we’re all on board about doing this. I’ve not heard a single elected official say that they are opposed to this idea,” said State Sen. Stephen Baldwin, (D) Greenbrier – Minority Leader.
“And if the legislature’s called back into special session, and they bring it to me and want to do it, I’m all in,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia, last Friday.
Georgia has joined Maryland as the second state to suspend its gas tax, but many other states are considering it. More than half of West Virginia’s counties border another state and there are concerns if neighboring states drop their gas taxes, West Virginians will go out of state for gas and other shopping needs.
Now, much of the legislature will be in Charleston at the end of April for interim committee meetings, so the governor could call a special session then, or he could do it sooner.