ATR Urges President Bush to Suspend Gas Tax during Peak Traveling Month

WASHINGTON – As the price of fuel continues to increase to record levels, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) sent President Bush a letter his support for a moratorium on the collection of federal excise taxes on all transportation fuels, from the months of May through September. ATR, the nations leading taxpayer advocacy group, strongly opposed efforts earlier this year to raise the federal fuels tax, and believes the current fuel taxes , if continued, are destined to cause irreparable harm to the U.S. economy

" President Bush has continuously been a hero to taxpayers across the country ," said Grover Norquist, President of ATR. "The letter asks the President to suspend the gasoline tax of 18.4 cents, the diesel tax of 24.4 cents, and the jet fuel tax of 4.4 cents to provide needed tax relief to American families before summer vacation airline travel begins and prior to the summer gasoline price spike."

Low U.S. commercial stocks of crude combined with taxing environmental regulations and high crude oil prices are strangling the supply of fuel. What\’s more, the price of regular unleaded gasoline has reached an all time premium.

An increase in the price of a barrel of crude oil by $5 will cut the growth of the GDP by three tenths of a percentage point. The impact is accelerated as the price of crude increases. Moreover, the expected increase in the price of crude, from $38 to $42, will pack a much more damaging punch to the economy as compared our previous increase of $33 to $38, during the past year.

Nowhere more evident are price increases than at the gas pump and these will in turn lead to less consumer discretionary spending and less summer driving. Summer vacation travel will also be stifled by the already rising jet fuel costs, and the continuation of taxes on diesel will increase the cost of railroad and trucking transportation for goods. Therefore, costs of consumer products will be driven up in grocery and hardware stores across the country.

"The American taxpayer is already paying too much in fuel taxes," said Norquist. "With every apple bought, the burden of transportation costs is passed on to him. With every flight he takes, he is responsible for the tax passed off on him. And with every gallon of gas he pumps into his family car, he pays taxes."