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Relief at the pump: Nesbitt votes to suspend gas taxes

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Aric Nesbitt on Thursday supported legislation to provide Michigan drivers with a summer gas tax pause and relief from record-setting gas prices.

“We are fighting to lower taxes so residents can better afford record-high inflation and gas prices. Unfortunately, Democrats in the state Legislature and our governor have fought efforts to reduce taxes every step of the way,” said Nesbitt, R-Lawton. “Today we are providing another opportunity for Democrats to join us to provide meaningful tax relief and we hope they will not block this crucial gas tax suspension aimed at helping struggling families and seniors.”

Senate Bill 973, sponsored by Nesbitt, along with SBs 972 and 974 would suspend the state’s 6% sales and use taxes on motor fuel from June 15 to Sept. 15. SB 1029 would suspend the state’s excise tax on gasoline and diesel fuel for the same time period and provide $300 million for local governments to cover revenue lost during the gas tax suspension.

Suspending the excise and sales taxes on gasoline will save Michigan drivers 51 cents per gallon at the pump, or $800 million over three months. According to AAA, on May 19, the state’s average per gallon cost for regular gasoline was $4.58 and the average diesel price was $5.27. Both prices are the highest recorded average prices in state history.

“The Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference recently reported the state is looking at billions more in surplus revenue than the billions previously projected. As Michiganders struggle more and more to provide for their families each month, the governor is hoarding their hard-earned tax dollars — that is simply wrong, and we must return these dollars to the taxpayers who need it most,” Nesbitt said. “The people of Michigan deserve meaningful tax relief both now and in the future, as they continue to recover from the lasting impacts of the historic inflation.”

Last week, Nesbitt voted to pass legislation to provide Michigan families, seniors and veterans with $2.5 billion in ongoing tax relief.

The MI Family Inflation Relief Plan would help every Michigander by lowering the state’s income tax to 4% and increasing the personal income tax deduction by $1,800. It would also support Michigan families by creating a $500 tax credit for each child under the age of 19.

House Bill 4568 and SB 784 would also increase the tax exemption for Michigan seniors over 67 to $21,800 for individuals and $43,600 for couples and ensure Michigan’s fully disabled veterans and the spouses of those lost in combat receive a 100% property tax exemption.

Today’s legislation to provide Michigan drivers with relief at the pump and the ongoing benefits of the MI Family Inflation Relief Plan each mark the Legislature’s second effort to alleviate gas and income tax burdens for state residents.

In April, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed HB 5570 to temporarily suspend the state’s gasoline and diesel excise taxes. In March, she vetoed SB 768 to reduce the state’s personal income tax, create a $500 per child tax credit, and increase the tax deduction for all seniors.

HB 4568 and SB 784 have each been sent to the governor for her signature. SBs 972-974 and SB 1029 will now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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