Gas Below $3 in 49 States, Senators Call for Gas Tax Hike

As falling prices poised to be ‘big plus for the economy’ politicians consider ‘option’ of higher taxes.

Drivers in every state except Hawaii are now paying less than $3-per-gallon for regular gasoline on average.

According to AAA, on Jan. 6, Alaska became the forty-ninth state in which gas prices fell below $3-a-gallon. On that day, gas dropped to an average $2.999 per gallon in Alaska, as the national average sat at $2.194 nationwide.

The Los Angeles Times reported on Dec. 10 that lower gas prices across the country could save Americans $100 billion during the following year, which would likely translate into higher consumer spending. The article cited Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, who said lower gas prices were “a big plus for the economy.”

“It could make the difference between a good year and a great year,” Zandi said.

Yet, even as gas prices have continued to fall and benefit consumers, some politicians have called for an increase in the gas tax.

Most recently, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., incoming chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said on “Fox News Sunday” Jan 4., that raising the gas tax was a possibility. He said that Congress needed to “look at all the options” on how to finance the Highway Trust Fund.

“I don't think we take anything off the table at this point,” Thune said when pressed about the gas tax by anchor Chris Wallace.

On the same broadcast, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said that raising the gas tax by 12 cents-a-gallon was “what we should do.” Corker proposed legislation in June 2014, that would do just that.