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North Dakota leaders have no plans to suspend gas tax amid high prices at the pump

Top North Dakota legislators have not spoken about suspending the state's 23-cent-per-gallon gas tax, said Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson.

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North Dakota's average gas price reached a record high of $4.62 per gallon on Tuesday, June 7, but prices are marginally lower in Bismarck (pictured above).
Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service
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BISMARCK — Several states have suspended their gasoline taxes amid record high prices at the pump, but North Dakota leaders say they have no plans to take similar steps.

Lawmakers in Georgia, New York and a handful of other states have recently approved measures to temporarily stop collecting state gas taxes, marginally easing the strain of gas prices that have climbed in recent months amid disturbances in the oil markets and high rates of inflation.

Drivers in North Dakota were paying an average of $4.62 per gallon of gas and $5.35 per gallon of diesel as of Tuesday, June 7, according to AAA.

Top North Dakota legislators have not spoken about suspending the state's 23-cent-per-gallon gas tax, said Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson.

Wardner said lawmakers could take up the issue at the next regular legislative session starting in January, but he didn't foresee any action prior to that.

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Mike Nowatzki, a spokesman for Republican Gov. Doug Burgum, said he's not aware of any proposals to halt gas tax collection. He forwarded Forum News
Service an article from the conservative-leaning Tax Foundation that referred to pausing the federal gas tax as an "ill-suited policy for addressing rising spending" because taking away from road maintenance funding would hurt drivers and the economy in other ways.

Nowatzki added that Burgum has repeatedly urged the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden to "reverse course on its misguided domestic energy policies and unleash U.S. energy producers to increase domestic (oil) supply."

Biden has charged American oil producers with declining to take advantage of drilling permits already granted by the federal government.

North Dakota lawmakers killed legislation last year to raise the state's gas tax for the first time since 2005. The 23-cent charge sits more than a nickel below the national average. Gas tax collections are used to maintain roads and bridges across the state.

Jeremy Turley is a Bismarck-based reporter for Forum News Service, which provides news coverage to publications owned by Forum Communications Company.
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