RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Governor Glenn Youngkin is weighing in as gas prices in Virginia escalate rapidly.
Average gas prices in Richmond rose 59.3 cents per gallon in the last week, according to a GasBuddy survey.
Youngkin addressed the issue as part of his speech to ChamberRVA on Monday. He blamed federal policy for the increase in energy prices and said inflation could not be fixed through the actions of one state’s governor alone.
“We have constrained the development of American energy and it has made matters even worse,” Youngkin said. “But we can eliminate unnecessary taxes that have been added on top of already increasing prices.”
Youngkin then doubled down on his push to suspend Virginia’s gas tax increase for one year.
“[These] tax cuts are designed to help Virginians who need it most; to get our cost of living down; to enable Virginia to compete,” said Youngkin.
The proposal is included in the House’s budget for fiscal year 2023 but not in the Senate’s plan. The two sides will have to come to a consensus through closed-door negotiations.
A similar bill that aimed to temporarily roll back a gas tax increase of 5 cents-per-gallon was passed in the House but it failed in the Senate last week due to concerns over cutting transportation funding.
“I’m not an advocate for reducing our revenues into the Transportation Trust Fund because we need those dollars to continue to improve our infrastructure,” said Senator Emmett Hanger (R-Augusta), a lead Republican budget negotiator, in an interview.
Plans for a gas tax exemption were included in the governor’s “Day One Game Plan” for tax reforms.