House Finance Committee hears McLaughlin legislation to temporarily waive Rhode Island’s gasoline tax


STATE HOUSE — The House Finance Committee heard testimony on legislation (2022-H 8006) introduced by Rep. James N. McLaughlin (D-Dist. 57, Cumberland, Central Falls) that would impose a moratorium on the payment of the fuel tax until Dec. 31, 2 2022.

“The cost would be about $77 million,” Representative McLaughlin told the panel. “The annual gas tax revenue is $177 million. Our complete budget is $12 billion. This is a drop in the bucket which would help the taxpayers in Rhode Island.”

The hearing came as gasoline and diesel prices continue to reach record highs.

“While the people of Rhode Island are trying to get back on a normal economic footing in the wake of this pandemic, inflation has been oppressive,” said Representative McLaughlin. “To add to that burden, the war in Ukraine has caused a chain reaction that has led to exorbitant prices at the gas pump. This temporary moratorium on the fuel tax would go a long way to help Rhode Islanders who are struggling to make ends meet.”

Gasoline in Rhode Island this week averaged at $4.36 per gallon, which is a rise of about 13 cents from last week and up from $3.55 this time in February, according to the American Automobile Association.