Virginians suffering at the gas pump may need to prepare for it to get just a little bit worse, as it is expected to rise again in the coming weeks, despite Youngkin’s best efforts.

As reported by Steve Haner for Bacon’s Rebellion, Virginia’s gasoline and diesel taxes will rise 7% on July 1, about three more cents per gallon when all the elements of the tax are combined.  This is the inflation-driven cost of living adjustment which Governor Youngkin and most legislative Republicans tried to short circuit, but which was preserved by a vote in the Virginia Senate last week.

Most of the attention on Youngkin’s proposal focused on his effort to suspend the retail (but not the wholesale or underground tank) portion of the tax for 90 days.  But both his regular session bill and the version he offered as a late budget amendment also reduced the coming inflation adjustment, or indexing, of the tax as of July 1.  The version rejected last week capped the increase at 2%, well below the current levels of inflation.

When opponents complained of major financial impacts from the change, they were really talking about the revenue that would disappear without the indexing provision, which will be cumulative over the years.  Inflation and then compounded inflation are powerful revenue enhancers for government at all levels, a tax all by itself.  Many in the Assembly refused to give it up (just as they refuse to index income tax provisions and lose that revenue growth.)

New retail tax rates, provided by Virginia Petroleum and Convenience Marketers Association, citing Virginia DMV. Note: this table is in cents per gallon.

The new gas tax numbers were shared with Bacon’s Rebellion by the Virginia Petroleum and Convenience Marketing Association, which just notified its members and encouraged them to be sure customers got the word.  The tax is actually collected from the wholesale distributors who bring the fuels to the gas stations and convenience stores, not imposed at the pump.

Youngkin has not been the only one to call out Virginia Democrats for their failure to act on rising gas prices. Recently, Virginia congressional hopeful Yesli Vega went on Fox to lay the blame squarely on the members who shot down the Youngkin’s gas holiday plans. Plans that now, even President Biden is calling for, even if Virginia Democrats continue to refuse to do anything about it. (RELATED: Virginia Republicans Highlight Irony of Biden’s Call for a Gas Tax Suspension Less than a Week After Senate Kills Similar Youngkin Proposal)