AUGUSTA — Rep. Laurel Libby of Auburn wants the state to suspend its gas tax during a time when the state is expecting new tax revenue and prices at the pump are rising.

State Rep. Laurel Libby, R-Auburn, speaks during a legislative session in March 2021 in the Augusta Civic Center. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file photo

Libby said the 30 cent gas tax is a burden for residents coping with high inflation and rising fuel costs. Her proposal, submitted Monday, would suspend the tax for the rest of the year.

Libby submitted the proposal as an emergency bill. It will first go to the Legislative Council and after that would face scrutiny before the Maine Legislature, which is controlled by Democrats.

“Maine people are struggling to pay for their basic necessities in the face of crippling inflation, and in a rural state like ours, gasoline is absolutely a necessity,” Libby said.

Maine’s revenue forecasting panel recently projected an additional $411.6 million in revenue through June 2023. That puts the previously projected surplus well over the $1 billion.

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