BOSTON, Mass (WWLP) – Gas prices have been soaring and the average cost for a gallon of regular gas in Massachusetts has officially surpassed $5.00, at $5.02 cents.
Last year, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas was $2.93 cents and just last week the average cost was $4.76 cents.
Currently, Massachusetts motorists pay a .24 cent excise tax per gallon of gas. Governor Charlie Baker has said in the past that a gas tax holiday should be discussed, but Senate President Karen Spilka doesn’t agree.
“There’s nothing we can do to mandate that if we decrease or suspend the gas tax that it actually goes into the pockets of those at the pump, because the oil companies can keep that gas tax and not pass it on” said Spilka.
Other lawmakers stand divided on the issue.
“We could give a break, I mean look it you’re talking .24 cents a gallon, and right now, you put in four gallons you’re saving a dollar and that’s huge,” said Representative Kelly Pease.
“I think that we need a very strategic plan on how to offer this relief so it gets to the pockets of the people who need that help,” said Representative Lindsay Sabadosa.
“I think we need to look at the record number of profits that the oil industry is making during these difficult times and I think it’s shameful that a group of legislators decided not to vote to hold accountable those in the industry that are gouging the prices,” said Representative Carlos Gonzalez.
States like Connecticut have suspended their gas tax, providing small relief at the pump. The average price for a gallon of gas in Connecticut is $4.94 cents, a difference of only 8 cents.
Currently the most expensive gas in the country is California at $6.39 cents a gallon.