Mar 18, 2022 - News

Colorado reticent to lower gas taxes amid soaring prices

Data: Federation of Tax Administrators; Map: Baidi Wang/Axios

As gas prices continue to spike, governors across the U.S. are moving to suspend state gas taxes to give drivers a break.

  • Yes, but: Don't expect it to happen in Colorado.

State of play: Colorado legislative leaders and budget writers say the idea isn't being considered.

  • Nor is it a priority for Gov. Jared Polis. He has joined other governors to demand a suspension of the 18-cent federal gas tax for the rest of the year — but he's not advocating the same for the state's 22-cent tax.
  • Polis spokesperson Conor Cahill explained the apparent contradiction by telling Axios Denver that the governor supports reduced state gas taxes, but only if the money, earmarked for road construction, is backfilled from other sources.

Why it matters: Gas prices hit decade-highs earlier this month and only continue to climb with the disruptions related to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

  • The average per gallon price stood at $3.96 Thursday, according to AAA Colorado.

The big picture: At least five states are considering legislation to cut or suspend state gas taxes, Axios' Shawna Chen reports.

Zoom in: Colorado lawmakers instead are thinking about delaying a new 2-cent fee on fuel they enacted in 2021 to boost transportation spending.

  • Polis announced his support for delaying the fee earlier this year, months after Republicans called for its repeal.

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard. Subscribe here.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Denver.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Denver stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Denver.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more