PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — How much does it cost to fill up your gas tank?

The answer to that question may be much more painful than year’s past, and a group of Rhode Island lawmakers is hoping to provide some much-needed relief.

The Rhode Island Senate Republican Caucus is proposing the state eliminate gas tax for the remainder of the year.

“We want to direct the influx in tax revenue back to residents and provide relief from the crushing pain at the pump,” Senate Minority Whip Jessica de la Cruz said. “Our state budget is benefiting from inflation as the gas tax brings in new, unexpected revenue. Meanwhile, the people of Rhode Island are struggling to balance their budgets with no relief in sight.”

The elimination of the gas tax, which costs 35 cents, would save Rhode Islanders a total of $150 million, according to the proposal.

“Rhode Island is once again at the bottom of the list economically, and families are suffering. This tax cut will have an immediate positive effect on people’s ability to buy necessities,” Sen. Elaine Morgan said.

Senate Minority Leader Dennis Algiere believes the state can easily afford the revenue cut because of the state’s $600 million budget surplus.

“If people aren’t spending as much on gas, they’re spending it elsewhere in the community on things they need for their family and at local businesses,” Algiere said. “That spending will not only help families when it comes to kitchen table economics and reducing financial strain, it will help the economy too.”

Small businesses will also benefit from the elimination of the gas tax, according to Sen. Thomas Paolino.

“Our state’s small businesses have been struggling for the past two years,” Paolino said. “We need to do anything we can do to help them rein in their operating costs.”

Rhode Island’s average gas price has increased by 6 cents from last week, according to AAA Northeast.

“Continuing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, plus increased demand as more drivers take to the roads, are combining to keep oil prices high, which translates into pain at the pump,” AAA Northeast’s Lloyd Albert explained.

AAA Northeast estimates that Rhode Island’s current average gas price of $3.54 per gallon is 19 cents more than it was back in January, and nearly a dollar higher than it was this same time last year.

The proposal has been referred to the R.I. Senate Finance Committee for consideration.