New Commentary on Gas Tax Holidays
July 20, 2006
Gas Tax Holidays No Cause for Celebration
With the summer driving season under way and gas prices topping $3 a gallon, lawmakers everywhere are scrambling to give drivers a much-needed break at the pump.
Gas taxes, which average almost 50 cents a gallon, are getting attention as motorists feel the squeeze on their pocketbooks. Unfortunately many lawmakers are responding by offering only temporary relief in the form of “gas tax holidays.”
“Holidays” sound great—who couldn’t use a break from taxes? But unfortunately, they’re not all they’re cracked up to be.
Lawmakers pitch tax holidays as the best thing since Fourth of July fireworks. But in reality they’re more like an April Fool’s joke—scoring political points for lawmakers eager to announce tax cuts, without giving meaningful, broad-based tax relief to consumers.
True, tax holidays are tax cuts, but not all tax cuts are created equal. Compared with permanent, broad-based tax relief, gas tax holidays are among the worst ways to give taxpayers a break…