An Even Worse Gas Tax Holiday Method Proposed in Missouri

May 5, 2008

As far as temporary gas tax holidays go, the Tax Foundation’s position has long been that they’re all bad. But even within gas tax holidays, there are bad and worse. And this one being suggested in the Missouri legislature is the worst.

You could get a break at the gas pumps in Missouri this summer if a bill gets the approval of the Legislature and the governor. It would lift the state’s gasoline tax for the summer – in a way.

The state’s gas tax is 17 cents on every gallon. If the bill becomes law, however, it wouldn’t mean 17 cents would drop off the prices at the pumps.

Gas prices are getting harder and harder to handle. In the Springfield area, regular unleaded was around $3.37 a gallon on Thursday. So word of a price cut has drivers excited.

“I think that’s a fantastic idea! Anything that would cut gas prices down a little bit for us would be a great idea,” said one person.

The Missouri House gave initial approval to the measure, which would lift the state gas tax from May 24 to Sept. 2.

But Missourians would have to save their receipts and turn them in with their 2008 tax returns.

“I don’t know about anybody else, but I’m terrible about saving receipts,” said Ben.
At 15,000 miles a year on 25 miles per gallon, your savings would be $27.46.

“People will just not know about it or say it’s not worth the effort, so there’s going to be a lot of them filtered out, and it’ll lessen the impact,” said Reed Olsen, an economics professor at Missouri State University.

So instead of seeing a lower price at the pump (or possibly not even one), a consumer would be forced to save his/her receipts, and then report it on next year’s Missouri income tax form.

The tax policy ideas coming from politicians just keep getting dumber and dumber…

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