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'Dead On Arrival': No Gasoline Tax Holiday, Justice Says

Governor Jim Justice speaks at his virtual press briefing, June 26, 2020
Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice said Wednesday that there would be no special session and no gasoline tax holiday, pronouncing the issue “dead on arrival.”

Earlier this week, Justice had said he was open to the idea, first proposed by Democrats in the legislature in March.

But Wednesday, even with gasoline prices approaching $5 a gallon, Justice said the funds would be better spent on roads.

“I didn’t think it was a good idea before,” he said Wednesday. “And to be perfectly honest, I still really don’t think it’s a good idea.

He also said the legislature’s Republican majority was opposed to the gas tax holiday. Most West Virginia drivers pay 35.7 cents a gallon in state taxes.

In a statement Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Stephen Baldwin, D-Greenbrier, said he was "disappointed" in the governor's remarks.

"People are hurting badly and we can do something to make gas more affordable right now here in West Virginia," he said.

Also Wednesday, Justice announced four additional deaths statewide from COVID-19, bringing the total to 6,997.

Energy & Environment Reporter, ctate@wvpublic.org, 202-679-8470, @tatecurtis

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