'We’ll take a look,' Gov. Whitmer says about passage of Senate gas tax relief bill

Posted at 6:25 PM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 19:41:55-04

(WXYZ) — The state gas and diesel tax relief bill has made its way from the state House to the Senate and now heads to the governor's desk.

Today, when asked if she plans to veto the bill, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer responded, “We’ll see. We’ll take a look at the bill. It took a different form, and my team will be looking at it.”

The Senate passed the bill on Tuesday. Lawmakers say it aims to save drivers about 27 cents a gallon at the pump for 6 months.

Many Democrats expressed hesitance because they say that’s money earmarked for road projects. Republicans say it'll save Michigan drivers a combined $750 million when filling up.

Some drivers are all for it.

Sayan Stinnett said, “The gas tax is ridiculous. The amount we’re paying for tax is horrible. I’m for the tax relief 100%.”

Kevin Everson, who drives a large SUV that takes diesel said, “I need it to drop down 27 cent, 10 cent.”

“Drop the gas tax," he said.

Others say if the gas tax relief doesn’t kick in until next year then what’s the point.

“Maybe we’ll be back to more normal kind of gas prices. I don’t really see a necessity. Probably the state needs money more than I need 27 cents in my pocket every time I fill up," Mike Drennan said.

At an unrelated news conference, the governor said, “I’ve said consistently if the legislature is serious about giving people some relief (then) I’m all in."

"I’ve proposed a lot of different ways to do that, whether it’s the retirement tax rollback, or it is the earned income tax credit increase, or it is the $400 that people are going to be getting in their mailbox over the course of the next two months," Whitmer explained.

She also previously suggested relief come in the form of freezing the federal gas tax, which is 18.4 cents a gallon.

Democratic state Sen. Jim Ananich, who also disagrees with suspending the state’s gas tax, has suggested suspending the sales tax on gas. When asked about that idea, the governor didn't give a straight answer on whether she agrees with that.

“What I want to do is make sure the decision we make actually gives people the relief they need," Whitmer said.

**Correction: A previous version of this article said the bill will go back to the House. That is incorrect and the error has been fixed.