CHERRY HILL, NJ (CBS) — The pain at the gas pump is increasing day by day. Gas prices in our area jumped again overnight, with New Jersey seeing the biggest increase.
But a local leader is pushing to suspend the tax you pay on every gallon you pump. However, some say cutting it off could cost you more.
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Every gallon of gas is taxed at both the federal and state levels, but would a tax break actually help?
As gas prices soar with no end in sight, many drivers are doing what they can to cope.
“Shocked is the word,” said Ray Callahan, a truck driver. “Yeah, I’m in shock. We’ve gone from four to something now we’re almost at $5. It’s crazy.”
“It’s a scary time,” Chris Sloan said. “As we have spent the last two years living in a pandemic, we are now faced with the repercussions of things three quarters of the world over which we really have no control, like an ordinary, ordinary person. ”
Nationally, drivers pay an average of $4.06 a gallon, according to Triple-A, but in the Delaware Valley those numbers are even higher, with Pennsylvanians paying more than $4.40 a gallon on Tuesday.
In New Jersey, it’s $4.24 a gallon, a jump of 15 cents from Monday. Gas cost $4.22 per gallon in Delaware, according to Triple-A.
CBS3 cameras spotted station after station with prices well above.
West Chester University business professor Dr Matthew McMahon says Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine and subsequent Western sanctions are the reason gas prices continue to climb .
“Oil is really a global market and so when you shut down someone like Russia, even though we’re not buying a lot of oil directly from Russia, there’s a lot of spillover into all the other markets – the oil market European, etc.,” McMahon said. “When you cut off the supply, it’s just going to drive up the price you see across the world.”
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As understanding as some drivers are, they are looking for ways to control gas prices.
“When we rely on other countries for our resources, for our independence, it could be a bleak future for all of us,” Daniel Silvestri said.
But New Jersey Rep. Donald Norcross hopes to change that.
“People need help. We helped them during the pandemic, we can help them now,” Norcross said.
Norcross is asking for a temporary gas tax cut, a move that could save drivers 60 cents a gallon in the Garden State. According to him, something will help the economy in the long run.
“It’s great to have a job, but you have to be able to afford to drive to that job,” Norcross said.
The gas tax is widely used to fund our roads and infrastructure, but the congressman says federal aid would fill in the gap and right now New Jersey can afford it.
“They have a surplus of almost $4 billion,” Norcross said.
Critics say it would only increase demand without solving supply problems – the root cause. And without bipartisan support, the pain at the pump will likely continue.
The congressman plans to officially introduce his bill in the coming days.
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CBS3’s Ross DiMattei contributed to this report.