The America Rising PAC (ARPAC) recently spoke with the Arizona Sun Times via email, criticizing Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) for supporting a federal gas holiday that would ultimately, the say, undermine infrastructure funding for Arizona.
“This is another example of why Mark Kelly shouldn’t be sent back to Washington. Not only does his ineffective gas tax suspension undermine the one legislative accomplishment he’s writing home about – Arizona wouldn’t even need a gas tax holiday if it wasn’t for the Democrats’ anti-American energy agenda that drove gas prices to record-breaking levels in the first place,” said ARPAC Press Secretary Whitney Robertson.
In February, Kelly introduced S.3609, the Gas Price Relief Act of 2022 (GPRA), which sought a “temporary exemption through 2022 from the excise tax on gasoline (other than aviation gasoline) and from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund financing rate,” according to the bill summary.
“Arizonans are paying some of the highest prices for gas we have seen in years and it’s putting a strain on families who need to fill up the tank to get to work and school,“ Kelly said in a press release. “This bill will lower gas prices by suspending the federal gas tax through the end of the year to help Arizona families struggling with high costs for everything from gas to groceries.”
However, the Tax Foundation argued that removing the federal gas tax through the end of this year would not fix the economic issues plaguing America.
“In the context of the whole economy, reducing or eliminating the gas tax would exacerbate inflation. Currently, demand in the economy, boosted by expansionary fiscal and monetary policy, far outstrips supply, plagued with its own problems driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects,” according to the Tax Foundation.
The foundation argued that removing the gas tax would not guarantee consumer savings. Even if it did, the savings might drive up demand for gas further, ultimately causing prices to continue rising.
Furthermore, a gas tax cut may hurt the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which touted more than one trillion dollars for American infrastructure, according to the German-owned political news outlet, Politico.
President Joe Biden (D) called for a three-month gasoline tax holiday in June. Dave Bauer, CEO of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, spoke with Politico and stated that the gas tax “contributed hundreds of billions of dollars to the bill.”
Moreover, when Biden called for the holiday, over a dozen infrastructure industry groups sent him a letter asking him to reconsider.
“Gas tax revenues are fundamental to the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), which helps fund these critical transportation programs. Support for a gas tax holiday risks undermining funding for these efforts, which is essential for our economy’s long-term, sustained growth,” according to the letter.
On August 10, 2021, Kelly voted in favor of the IIJA, stating Arizona would benefit from the investments.
“Arizonans in every corner of our state are going to benefit from these investments, from expanded high-speed internet access, to improved roads and transit options, to better security and shorter wait times at our ports of entry,” Kelly said.
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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Mark Kelly” by John Klemmer.