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Virginia lawmakers divided over who would actually benefit from gas tax holiday

FILE PHOTO - Sheetz location on Wards Road in Lynchburg, Virginia.{ } (WSET)
FILE PHOTO - Sheetz location on Wards Road in Lynchburg, Virginia. (WSET)
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On Tuesday, the Virginia House of Delegates Finance Committee approved a bill that would suspend the $0.26 per gallon gasoline tax from May 1 to July 31.

If a gas tax holiday is passed, the hope is that savings to distributors will filter down to station owners and then consumers when they fill up.

Governor Glenn Youngkin and Republicans, like Delegate Wendell Walker, say this will provide Virginians with the help they have been asking for.

SEE ALSO: 'People are suffering' | Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears, Virginia Democrats debate gas tax holiday

“What better time can you give relief than a time of inflation, when there is a lot of suffering and expenses that parents need help with,” said Walker.

If passed, consumers would save between $3 and $4 every time they fill up.

“Any tax relief is relief for the consumer,” said Walker.

But Democrat Delegate Sam Rasoul argues there is no way to be sure that businesses pass the savings along to the consumer.

“It could just unfairly enrich some companies, you know, larger companies," said Rasoul.

SEE ALSO: Lawmakers weigh in on new Virginia laws, discuss state budget

Instead, Democrats propose sending $50 rebates to every car owner, or up to $100 per household.

“What we want to do is just provide money directly back to Virginians. As opposed to trying to reduce the gas tax which would not necessarily translate in a reduction at the pump,” said Rasoul.

Democrats also argue that the Republican plan would benefit out-of-state drivers and the oil industry more than Virginians.

The bill requires approval from The House Appropriations Committee and then the full House and Senate.

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