AUGUSTA – A bill to temporarily suspend Maine’s gas tax and provide Mainers some relief at the pump won’t ever be debated or voted on in Augusta after top Democrat Leaders refused to allow the proposal to even be considered by a top leadership panel.
The bill, put forward by Rep. Laurel Libby, would have reduced the gas tax by 30 cents per gallon for the duration of 2022 to provide some relief to record high gas prices.
“This is why the public hates politics, political games, and the lack of transparency in Augusta,” said bill Sponsor Rep. Laurel Libby (R-Auburn). “Because of Democrat leaders, the most important issue facing Maine citizens right now, high gasoline prices, will not be addressed.
Libby said she proposed the bill in response to a report from Maine’s Revenue Forecasting Committee that predicted Maine would see nearly $400 million in revenue than the previous forecast. The forecast increased the expected surplus to about $1.2 billion.
“On behalf of the tens of thousands of Mainer’s struggling to pay for gasoline and keep up with the rapidly increasing costs of living, I am deeply disappointed that my bill will not even be considered, or the voices of the public heard,” said Rep. Libby, “With state government taking in excess of $1.2 billion more than budgeted from Maine taxpayers, the idea of suspending Maine’s gas tax in 2022 deserves a public hearing and legislative consideration. Too many families are struggling to make ends meet while the government gets bigger and bigger.”
According to Libby’s press release, Senate President Troy Jackson (D – Aroostook) and House Speaker Ryan Fecteau (D – Biddeford) refused to even distribute a ballot be distributed among the Legislative Council’s 10-members to consider allowing the bill to move forward for consideration.