RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) – A group of senators in Raleigh want the state to give drivers some cash to spend on fuel.
State Sen. Michael Garrett (D-Greensboro) is one of three primary sponsors – along with Sen. Dan Blue (D-Wake) and Sen. Sydney Batch (D-Wake) – who filed Senate Bill 897 on Thursday, proposing that every licensed adult driver in North Carolina get $200 from the state to apply toward spiking gas prices.
They are calling the measure the Gas Tax Rebate Act of 2022 and said it can be funded by spending $1.3 billion of the roughly $4.241 billion in surplus revenue the state has collected.
The bill stipulates that to qualify for the rebate, a person must be a licensed driver residing in North Carolina and at least 18 as of March 31.
If passed, the bill would become effective on July 1, and the state would distribute the rebate by no later than Oct. 1.
Garrett said in a brief text message that he thinks the bill has a chance to pass because “we crafted it this way to address all of the objections.”
A request for reaction from Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Eden) did not draw an immediate response.
Six other Democratic senators, including Gladys Robinson of Greensboro, along with Val Foushee and Natalie Murdock of Durham, signed on as cosponsors.
The average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline reached $4.36 per gallon in North Carolina last week, which is lower than the nation’s $4.57, but still the highest recorded on a Memorial Day weekend.
Gas prices in Greensboro rose 12.4 cents last week, averaging $4.35 per gallon, Gasbuddy.com has calculated. Prices in Greensboro as of Sunday ranged from $4.09 to $4.69 and were about $1.43 a gallon higher than last Memorial Day. They are 60.2 cents higher than a month ago.
“Gasoline prices surged over the last week to new record highs, but have finally started to slow their rise with diesel also finally cooling off,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a release. “With more Americans planning to hit the road for Memorial Day this year compared to last, prices will be over $1.50 per gallon higher than last year.”
This article will be updated.