Business & Economy

Gasoline prices falling around the state, though still significantly higher than last year

Gas pumps
The gas pumps at the Fletcher General Store, shown in 2020. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger

Regular gasoline in Vermont is currently priced at an average of $4.688, down from a historic high of $5.055 last month, according to AAA.

Prices around the state range from $4.602 per gallon in Addison County to $4.954 in Essex County, the firm reported.

Despite the increase in fuel demand that was expected during the Independence Day weekend, oil prices are falling nationally. Experts suggest the decreasing oil prices could be a result of investor concerns that a recession is looming

Nationally, price averages have dropped about 34 cents since last month, to $4.605, AAA’s figures show. However, prices are still up significantly from one year ago, when the average price of fuel was $3.146. 

Last month, President Joe Biden called for states to implement their own gas tax holidays as a way to combat increased prices, which Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said he would look into

Vermont’s gas tax is currently around 30 cents per gallon. At a press conference Tuesday, Scott did not make clear whether he will declare such a holiday, but expressed his concerns about the proposal.

“We utilize that tax to leverage money for the 90/10 match, or the 10% match for the 90% federal funding, so we need it,” he said, referring to the state’s contribution for certain programs that require a combination of state and federal funding. “But if it comes out of a different pocket, that’s fine.”

Scott turned attention to a tax package that was introduced in the Legislature this year, which he said would have been broader than the one that eventually passed. 

“I think there's another way to provide relief to those who are in need,” Scott said. “When you see the price of fuel, the inflationary price of labor and materials, everyone is impacted, but those that are the most vulnerable, those on fixed incomes, are people we need to pay attention to and I believe we should have paid into them in the last legislative session.”

A statewide gas tax holiday would need legislative approval. If he wanted to pursue the idea, Scott said, he would have to call the Legislature into a special session or wait until the next legislative session begins in January. 

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Jenna Peterson

About Jenna

Jenna Peterson is a student at the University of Southern California, where she is majoring in journalism and political science. She is news editor at the Daily Trojan at USC and was an editor of the Burlington High School student newspaper when it received a special New England Newspaper & Press Association award for successfully fighting a censorship effort by school administrators.

Email: [email protected]

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