Democrats proposing Special Session over rising gas prices

Posted at 11:37 AM, Jun 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-08 18:04:44-04

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho’s Democratic lawmakers are proposing a special legislative session to consider a six-month tax holiday on gas due to rising prices.

Idaho’s average gas price is over $5 dollars a gallon, according to AAA Idaho, which is higher than the national average sitting at $4.96 per gallon.

House and Senate Democrats sent a letter to Gov. Brad Little requesting the special legislative session saying taking action on gas prices in the coming weeks would give Idahoans relief at the pump by as much as 32 cents a gallon.

Related: Idaho gas prices continue to break records, near $5 a gallon

“This is considerable tax relief to Idahoans that is well within the state’s budget,” said Rep. James Ruchti (D-Pocatello). “It’s time we get this done.”

The price of food has risen by 10% in the last 12 months and gas prices rose 18% in a single month in 2022, according to the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy.

“My constituents are feeling the pinch,” said Sen. David Nelson (D-Moscow). “They are paying more to drive to work and the grocery store. And when they get there the groceries are more expensive.”

Democratic lawmakers are proposing one bill for consideration according to a press release and noted the state is projecting a $1.3 billion surplus and a six-month gas tax holiday, or its equivalent rebate, would cost the state a projected $180 million.

Little's office responded to the letter by telling Idaho News 6 in a statement “Governor Little received the letter from Idaho Democrats, and he is reviewing the request."

"Governor Little and Republicans in the Idaho Legislature this year championed immediate and ongoing historic tax relief for working individuals and families to help offset soaring inflation and gas prices – problems created by President Joe Biden and the Democrats’ mishandling of the economy," according to a statement from Little's office. "Every single Idaho Democrat legislator voted against the ongoing tax cuts and immediate tax rebates just a few months ago. Governor Little clearly stated last month he plans to cut taxes even further with the state’s budget surplus to build on three straight years of unprecedented tax relief for Idahoans.”