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Runestad supports legislative push to pause gas tax, urges governor to sign historic tax relief bill

Joint hearing with Senate Finance and Transportation committees to review state gas taxes set for March 15

LANSING, Mich.Senate Finance Committee Chairman Jim Runestad on Wednesday voiced his support to send Gov. Gretchen Whitmer legislation that would suspend the state’s tax on gasoline and diesel fuels to provide Michigan drivers immediate financial relief, and called on her to sign the historic tax relief bill that was sent to her by the Legislature last week.

He also announced a joint meeting of the Senate Finance and Transportation committees at 9 a.m. on March 15 in the Senate Hearing Room at the Boji Tower to review Michigan’s gas taxes, their structure, pricing transparency and projections.

“The governor sent a letter to Washington requesting lawmakers work to pause the nation’s gas tax, but we need her to lead right here in Michigan,” said Runestad, R-White Lake. “The Legislature is working to help Michiganders who are struggling paycheck to paycheck and battling against historic inflation. We need a partner in the governor’s mansion, not an adversary. I hope the governor will put aside her partisan veto pen to help the people of Michigan and sign the tax cut bill we sent her last week. I also look forward to sending her legislation to give drivers relief at the pump.”

The House voted Wednesday afternoon to approve House Bill 5570, which would suspend the state’s gas and diesel taxes, which are among the highest in the nation at 27 cents per gallon. The Senate plans to vote on the bill next week, putting the plan on her desk along with the already-passed $2.5 billion tax cut plan that includes a reduction in the income tax, a $500 child tax credit and increased deductions for seniors.

Senate Bill 768 was given final approval by the state Senate on March 3 after passing both legislative chambers. It would help Michigan families by reducing the state’s income tax from 4.25% to 3.9% and creating a $500 tax credit for each child under the age of 19. It would also create a tax deduction for seniors up to $40,000 for individuals and $80,000 for couples and lower the age threshold from 67 to 62.

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