With gasoline prices now approaching or even exceeding $4 per gallon, and putting a strain on New York’s hardworking families and small businesses, the New York State Senate on Wednesday approved legislation to provide much needed relief at the gas pump by suspending New York State’s gasoline taxes during the summer travel season.
The bill (S7594-B), sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza, Senator Charles Fuschillo and Senator Joe Robach, will eliminate the New York State taxes on gasoline from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, and was unveiled last week in Albany.
Under the Senate Majority proposal, New Yorkers would save approximately 32 cents per gallon in state gasoline taxes, including 16 cents from the State’s Petroleum Business Tax, 8 cents from the State sales tax, and 8 cents from the State’s Motor Fuel Excise Tax.
If the federal, State and local governments all temporarily suspended their taxes, New Yorkers would save 65 cents per gallon at the pump.
The bill also authorizes strict anti-price gouging penalties for gas station owners and gasoline distributors who don’t pass along the savings from this initiative so New Yorkers get the relief they need and deserve.
Meanwhile, under the bill, local governments would have the option of waiving their local sales taxes of approximately 14 cents per gallon.
The Senate Majority plan would also reduce gasoline costs to local small businesses and truckers, leading to lower prices on consumer goods and services, and providing a boost to the State’s vital tourism industry.
With full federal, state and local participation, the average price of a gallon of diesel fuel would be reduced from $4.58 to $3.93.
While the plan to suspend the State’s gas taxes provides immediate relief from high costs at the pump, Senate Republicans also approved a number of bills to encourage alternative energy use and development, including:
* S3947-B (Skelos) — Removes the State sales tax on hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles.
* S4363 (Marcellino) — Provides an EZ Pass discount for fuel efficient vehicles.
* S6160-B (Skelos) — Provides tax credits for biodiesel and ethanol storage facilities.
* S7932 (Maziarz) — Amends the current bio-fuel production credit to provide for a forty cent per gallon incentive specific for cellulosic ethanol production. A tax credit equal to 15 cents per gallon already exists for biofuel production.
The approved bills were sent to the Assembly.