Massachusetts residents are searching for any kind of relief they can get at the pump as gas prices hold steady at some of the highest prices the state has seen in over 15 years.

Currently, the average price of gasoline in Massachusetts is holding steady at $4.26, which is actually down slightly from last week. That's just above the current national average of $4.24 according to AAA.

Many states have been looking for a way to give residents some relief at the pump amidst sky-high prices including Massachusetts neighboring state of New York. The state Senate approved the New York State Gas Tax Relief Act suspends the state gas tax until September 1, 2022, in an effort to combat the increased costs that have burdened New Yorkers over the past two years and have escalated even higher in recent months.

So what about Massachusetts? The Massachusetts House recently rejected an amendment to the supplemental budget that would have given drivers in the Bay State a break at the pump by suspending the gas tax. However, the amendment was rejected. If it passed, it would have suspended the 24-cent gas tax any time gas prices jumped over $4 a gallon and reinstated it when prices went back under $3.70.

So why didn't it pass? Some members of the house billed it as a political gimmick as  Massachusetts is approaching the state's upcoming gubernatorial election. The amendment was proposed by state Rep. Peter Durant (R-Spencer) but echoed the proposal brought up by Republican candidate Chris Doughty, whose running mate for lieutenant governor, Kate Campanale, is married to Durant, according to WBUR.

The Boston Herald said that opponents to the bill need to come up with proposals that provide “real relief for families." Another noted that losing guaranteed revenue streams like the gas tax could negatively impact the state’s bond rating as well as possibly also cutting into funding for future large-scale transportation projects.



LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.


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