DES MOINES, IOWA — President Biden called on Congress Wednesday to support a three month federal gas tax holiday to help mitigate high prices at the pump.
Gas is sitting just under $5 a gallon at a national level and in Iowa the average price is $4.69. Diesel in the state hit the highest price-per-gallon on Wednesday at $5.44, according to AAA. People pumping gas in the metro reacted to the President’s support of a tax holiday and how they think it might impact their checkbooks.
“That would help. That would help a lot,” said Iven Sais, the owner of Sais & Sons Logistics in Houston, TX. “See I guess they running up the gas prices cause it is summer time, people are going to be traveling. They are taking more money out of our pocket. Let us go enjoy ourselves. We are going to spend all our money when we get to where we are going we can’t enjoy ourselves.”
Sais has to drive for work and since he owns his own business he has to eat the cost of fuel. His diesel truck hauling heaving equipment and machinery has cost him $800 to get from Houston to Des Moines.
Another person fueling up their car said that they agreed the federal tax holiday on gas would help out, but he still wants to see the country become energy independent. Due to the high gas prices, he drives around looking for the best deal.
“I look around for the lowest price too and sometimes drive 10 or 15 miles to get a lower price,” said Jim Schertz from Marshalltown. “I don’t know if that helps because it uses gas to do that and I am very conscious about the price. It is taking a chunk of disposable income.”
Both Sais and Schertz said they would like a holiday on state gas tax as well. But they know it probably won’t happen.
Governor Kim Reynolds responded today to President Biden asking state governor’s for a gas tax holiday:
“A suspension to either the federal or state gas tax is only a temporary solution and not practical. President Biden could immediately restore America’s energy independence by reversing his decisions of canceling the Keystone pipeline, banning new oil and gas development on federal lands, eliminating regulatory hurdles to energy permitting and utilizing home-grown biofuels.”
“In Iowa, we’re focusing on permanent tax cuts. This year, we passed the most historic tax bill in our state’s history: eliminating tax on retirement income and lowering the individual income tax rate to a flat and fair 3.9% for all Iowa taxpayers. These permanent tax cuts keep more hard-earned money in Iowans’ pockets and are not temporary solutions like Biden has proposed.”
Members of President Biden’s administration made themselves available on Wednesday to comment on Biden’s tax holiday proposal. One mitigation strategy mentioned by one of his economic advisors was calling out the oil industry, as he did in a letter last week.
“The gap between that and how much you have to pay for the crude oil has gone up quite a bit. You are making a lot more money now, a lot more money than any recent period,” said Heather Boushey, a member of President Biden’s Council of Economic Advisors. “So he has called on those refiners to cut those costs and to make the oil that they sell more affordable.”
Boushey said that the administration gives the Russian invasion of Ukraine the top spot on the list for reasons why gas prices are so high.