State gas tax dropping 3 cents a gallon in January

Indiana’s state gasoline taxes will drop by about 3 cents per gallon next month to their lowest level since April as pump prices have declined from record peaks six months ago.

A total of 52.9 cents per gallon in state taxes will be charged during January under rate changes released Tuesday by the Indiana Department of Revenue.

That tax rate will be 9.5 cents less than August’s record-high rate of 62.4 cents, a fluctuation that comes as Indiana’s 7% sales tax on gasoline is calculated monthly along with a set tax directed to road projects.

AAA reported Indiana’s average gas price was nearly $3.02 a gallon as of Tuesday, down from $3.86 a month ago and the record peak of $5.24 in June.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and GOP legislative leaders rejected calls from Democrats earlier this year to suspend state gas taxes to aid residents amid the high national inflation rate and the spike in gasoline prices following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February. The Republican-dominated Legislature, instead, over the summer approved $200-per-taxpayer rebate payments from the state’s surging budget surplus.

The January gas sales tax of 19.9 cents a gallon is nearly double the rate from early 2021. The state’s road projects tax went up by 1 cent a gallon in July to 33 cents under an automatic increase for inflation allowed under a 2017 plan pushed by Republicans.

Terre Haute officer cleared of shooting knife-wielding man

Authorities have ruled that a western Indiana police officer was justified in fatally shooting a man who was threatening him with a knife earlier this month.

The Vigo County prosecutor announced Tuesday that a Terre Haute police officer acted appropriately after responding to a domestic violence call on Dec. 1 and heard a woman screaming inside the house. Officer Adam Noel kicked in the door and saw 42-year-old James Ready coming toward him with a knife.

A state police investigation determined the officer ordered Ready to drop the knife seven times, with Ready replying “shoot me” and “kill me” while still coming toward Noel, Prosecutor Terry Modesitt said.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Ready’s refusal to drop the knife and his approach of Officer Noel put both the officer and another person in immediate risk of death or serious bodily injury,” Modesitt said in a statement.

The officer fired three shots, with two of them hitting Ready, the prosecutor said.

The woman attacked by Ready suffered eight stab wounds and was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Tyler Juranovich can be reached at 765-454-8577, by email at tyler.juranovich@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at @tylerjuranovich.

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