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New Jersey Congressman Calls For Gas Tax Cut As Prices At Pump Hit Record Highs

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) -- The pain at the gas pump is growing by the day. Gas prices in our area jumped again overnight with New Jersey seeing the biggest increase.

But one local leader is pushing to pause the tax you pay on every gallon you pump. However, some say cutting it could wind up costing you more.

Every gallon of gas is taxed at both the federal and state level but would a tax halt actually help?

As gas prices skyrocket with no end in sight, many drivers are doing what they can to cope.

"Shocked is the word," Ray Callahan, a truck driver, said. "Yeah, I'm in shock. We went from four-something to now we're almost at $5. It's crazy."

"It's scary times," Chris Sloan said. "Like we spent the last two years living in a pandemic, now we're dealing with the repercussions from stuff three-quarters of the way around the world that we don't really have any control over as like a regular, everyday person."

According to Triple-A, nationwide, drivers on average are paying $4.06 per gallon, but in the Delaware Valley, those numbers are even higher with Pennsylvanians forking over $4.40 per gallon on Tuesday.

In New Jersey, it's $4.24 a gallon, which is a 15 cent jump from Monday. Gas cost $4.22 a gallon in Delaware, according to Triple-A.

CBS3 cameras spotted station after station with prices well above that.

As understanding as some drivers are, they're looking for ways to get gas prices under control.

"When we rely on other countries for our resources, for our independence, it could be a dim future for us all," Daniel Silvestri said.

But New Jersey Rep. Donald Norcross is hoping to change that.

"People need help. We helped them during the pandemic, we can help them now," Norcross said.

Norcross is calling for a temporary gas tax cut, a move that could save drivers 60 cents per gallon in the Garden State. Something he argues will help the economy in the long run.

"It's great to have a job but you need to be able to afford to drive to that job," Norcross said.

Residents in New Jersey sounded open to the idea.

"Yeah, I mean 60 cents a gallon, if you do the math, it definitely adds up," Nick Daddario said. "I think that would be pretty beneficial to those who have to drive and commute every day. It absolutely would make a difference."

"Any help would be helpful," Lorieon Dickens said. "Any help would be helpful to drop the prices. 

"Sounds like a good idea," Keith Bowles said. "I mean, 60 cents is not a lot, but it helps."

The gas tax is largely used to fund our roadways and infrastructure but the congressman says federal aid would supplement the gap and right now, New Jersey can afford it.

"They're running a close to $4 billion surplus," Norcross said.

Critics say doing this would only drive up demand without solving supply issues -- the root cause. And without bipartisan support, the pain at the pump will likely continue.

The congressman is planning to officially present his bill within the next few days.

CBS3's Ross DiMattei contributed to this report.

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