Could Americans See a Big Dip in Gas Prices in Time for the 4th of July?
In 2021, only 20 percent of Americans said they planned to travel during the summer months. In 2022, the number of Americans itching to get out on the open road jumped to 73 percent, a 53 percent increase. Except that there's just one problem and a very big one - gas prices.
My family recently traveled from our home in the Southern Tier to Old Forge, Queensbury, Saratoga, and Albany, New York. We did our roundtrip in under 48 hours and spent about $130 on gas. At this same time last year, our cost would have been closer to $80 for the entire roundtrip.
Gas prices are all over the place. In the Binghamton and Norwich areas, gas hovered around $4.99 a gallon. In Old Forge, it was going for $5.09 a gallon, and in the Albany area, gas was priced the lowest, around $4.79 a gallon. There simply seems to be no rhyme or reason for why and it's so frustrating.
With more Americans planning to travel and inflation issues, the average cost of a summer vacation is expected to jump from $2,400 to $2,700, a $300 increase thanks mostly to the all-over-the-place price of gas and airfare. However, it looks like a little bit of relief could be on the way and possibly just in time for the July Fourth holiday.
President Biden has stated that he is very close to reaching a decision on a gas tax holiday. What that means is that there would be a pause on federal gas taxes and if that happens, gas prices would drop by about 18 cents a gallon.
In Broome County, Jason Garnar has capped the local gas tax and in New York State, Governor Hochul has suspended the state tax. What this could mean is that if federal gas taxes are paused, we could temporarily see a sharp decline in the price of gas, at least locally.
However, there is no guarantee that President Biden will call for a gas tax holiday because gas tax money is used for internal infrastructure and roads so if there is no gas tax money coming in for a certain amount of time, money wouldn't be made available to projects depending on it on a local level.
Additionally, Congress would have to approve of the gas tax holiday and that could be a whole different kind of challenge - trying to get both sides to agree on something political.