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

Former Gov. Paul LePage and other Republicans are targeting the gas tax during a record fuel-price surge, but proposed cuts face pushback from groups concerned a short-term revenue loss that could hurt road and bridge funding and shift the burden to other taxes.

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

Republican calls to address the gas tax are an attempt at political distinction with Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat who adapted their calls for giving back half a massive state surplus into a plan to send checks to families. But transportation and business advocates warn that suspending the gas tax could threaten Maine infrastructure or require funding shifts from other sources.

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