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NWI Democratic delegation continues call for gas tax suspension after Indiana hits highest-ever state gas tax

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INDIANAPOLIS – Friday, Indiana’s gas taxes will hit a record-high of 80.5 cents per gallon. As Democrats’ call to suspend the gas tax enters its fourth month and Republicans have yet again pushed back the special session that was intended to provide economic relief for Hoosiers, Northwest Indiana members of the House Democratic Caucus issued the following statements:

“The $225 tax refund is a great first step but ultimately not enough,” State Rep. Mike Andrade (D-Munster) said. “With this additional delay, it’s very possible Hoosiers won’t see relief hitting their bank accounts until the fall. That’s unacceptable to me when we have a $6.1 billion surplus. Hoosiers need sustained relief – and suspending Indiana’s record-high gas tax immediately would accomplish that.”    

“A one-time payback from the state is not enough when it comes to gas taxes. The price of a gallon of gas is reaching close to the minimum wage,” State Rep. Pat Boy (D-Michigan City) said. “Ten gallons of gas (not even a full tank) for five days' work could cost at least a full day’s pay at a minimum wage job – nearly half a day for a $15 an hour job. The biggest problem is that the tax is not on the gallons but on the total cost of the gas. It’s not a gas tax, it’s a sales tax, created to end in 2025 and intended to fund our infrastructure – our roads and bridges. The newest figures show 80.5 cents tax per gallon because of the high price of fuel. A check for $225 will pay for about 32 gallons of gas at $7 a gallon. As the price of gas goes up and the taxes along with it, Hoosiers need real, long-term relief, not a one-time check.”

“With kids home from school, many parents have extra expenses for food and child-care,” State Rep. Earl Harris Jr. (D-East Chicago) said. “Suspending the state gas tax would give much-needed relief to many Hoosier families. A suspension on the gas tax will help Hoosiers who are struggling to make ends meet, and with a $6 billion surplus, Indiana can afford to help.”

“People in District 1 often have long commutes to get to work, which means they’re being hit even harder by this record tax,” State Rep. Carolyn B. Jackson (D-Hammond) said. “The supermajority is extremely out-of-touch with working Hoosiers if they think people can stand to wait an additional month before the tax refund is distributed. School is starting soon, which means extra expenses are fast approaching. That’s why we need to suspend the state gas taxes now.”

“Frankly, it is tragic that leadership within the Statehouse does not understand or care to meet the needs of citizens in our state,” State Rep. Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary) said. “So many are being challenged to meet their family’s needs with rising gas rates. With our exorbitant $6.1 billion surplus, we have the chance to give relief to those who need it. I am urging the governor to listen to our calls and for our legislation to finally take action on this dire issue.”

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