Local gas station and convenience store owners react to Biden's gas tax proposal

Posted at 7:00 PM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 07:19:36-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX18) — President Joe Biden announced his plan to lower gas prices by suspending the federal gas tax for the next three months. He called on Congress to consider the proposal that would eliminate $0.18 off every gallon of gas.

Biden says, "We can bring down the price of gas and give families just a little bit of relief."

Here in Kentucky on average gas is $4.70 per gallon. If stations were to pass 100% of that tax suspension on to consumers, gas could be nearly 4% lower, that's $4.52 per gallon. AAA Blue Grass leaders say that in addition to concerns about a lack of highway funding that the gas tax supports there's also concern about businesses passing on savings.

AAA Blue Grass’s Lori Weaver-Hawkins says, "We don't know that yet of course. It could be that the retailers just up that base price -- and so we don't really get the full effect of that."

In his speech earlier today President Biden said, "…There's no time now for profiteering."

The owner of the Silver Streak market, Debbie Morris, who we’ve spoken with as gas prices have continued to rise, says she isn't sure gas tax holiday will do much for sales.

Morris says, "I’m not sure it's gonna happen like everybody hopes it's gonna happen -- by bringing everything down."

Being a small business owner, Morris says she keeps her prices competitive with the bigger chains in the area. She says the gas tax being suspended is an opportunity to buy more gas for the station. The issue she'll have that most bigger stations won’t is having the money to buy more. She just bought 1,500 gallons for $6,500.

"How much can I put out? You know, can I put out 10,000? Can you put out $12,000? It's gonna be hard on that little, little guy to do that,” says Morris.

Morris says she has no problem lowering her prices, but she wants to stay competitive. She says the people she spoke with coming in today don't really understand how the suspension will help.

She says, "People don't understand what it actually is. So, I don't think that they personally think, that this is...gonna help. I just I don't think that's what they're thinking."