Business

Paul LePage at odds with business groups over proposal to cut gas taxes

Paul LePage at odds with business groups over proposal to cut gas taxes

Former Gov. Paul LePage and other Republicans target gas tax amid record fuel price spike, but proposed cuts pushed back by groups fearing short-term revenue loss could hurt funding roads and bridges and shifts the burden to other taxes.

It comes as the average regular gas price in Maine hit a record high of $4.19 on Tuesday, according to AAA. Prices are expected to continue to climb as the Russian invasion of Ukraine limits oil supplies. Gasoline prices, although not included in the most common measure of inflation, have been one of the most visible signs of high prices in the United States in recent weeks.

Republican calls to address the gas tax are a bid for political distinction with Governor Janet Mills, a Democrat who has tailored her calls to return half of a massive state surplus in a plan to send checks to families. But transportation and business advocates warn that suspending the gas tax could threaten Maine’s infrastructure or require funding changes from other sources.