Gas tax holiday bill clears Virginia House committee

Drivers in the Commonwealth could soon see some relief at the pump.

The House Finance Committee has approved a bill that would eliminate the gas tax in Virginia for three months starting in May.

But it's not quite a done deal just yet.

According to FOX 5's Maureen Umeh, it came down to a 12-10 partisan vote in the House Finance Committee, with Republicans in favor, and Democrats against.

Nonetheless both sides do agree that something needs to be done to help Virginians feeling the pain at the pump.

How to do it is what remains the sticking point.

The Republican house bill that passed would suspend the state's 26 cents a gallon gas tax from May 1 until the end of July. The tax would be brought back at half its regular level for august, and at three-quarters its regular level in September, Umeh reports.

But democrats in Richmond are concerned that the gas tax holiday would be too costly and would benefit those traveling through the commonwealth and not Virginians.

Instead, they're proposing direct rebates to residents amounting to $50 per car with a limit of $100 per household.

Republicans argue that with the state's surplus funds, their plan would only cost about $400 million dollars and that Virginia drivers deserve the break.

Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin applauded the house bill passage, Umeh said.

It now needs approval by the house appropriations committee as well as the full house and senate. But that may be tricky. The senate is controlled by democrats. For now, a gas tax suspension for Virginia motorists looks far from certain.