JUNEAU, Alaska — Although Alaska's average gasoline prices now top $4.14 according to AAA, a bill to suspend the state’s eight-cent-per-gallon motor fuel tax is still making no progress in the Legislature.
Gov. Sean Parnell has said it's one of his priorities this session, yet the administration’s enthusiasm seems to have run out of, well, gas.
Rep. Peggy Wilson (R-Wrangell), chair of the House Transportation Committee, says she's willing to advance the bill, but that Parnell and his legislative team have not asked for a hearing since an initial discussion in February. A Senate version of the bill has not had a hearing since Feb. 3.
Not many lawmakers support the bill, because they say the last time they suspended the tax, the oil companies just made up the difference and Alaskans never saw any relief at the pump. They also argue the income generated by the tax is meant to help repair roads and other transportation infrastructure.