Contact: Joshua Fitzpatrick, (518) 455-3751
For Immediate Release:
May 11, 2008

Tedisco, Assembly Minority Launch Grassroots Petition Drive To Give Motorists A "Summertime Holiday" From State Gas Taxes

In the hopes of forcing the Assembly Majority to stop delaying and finally join the State Senate in enacting a "summertime holiday" from state gas taxes for motorists, Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) and the Assembly Minority Conference today announced the launch of a statewide, grassroots petition drive aimed at building public support for the measure.

Tedisco and the Assembly Minority are advocating for enactment of legislation - Assembly Bill A.10818 - that would establish a "summertime holiday" from state gas taxes. The holiday would suspend the three separate state taxes on fuel - the 8-cent motor fuel tax, the 8-cent sales tax and the 16-cent Petroleum Business Tax - from Memorial Day until Labor Day, providing a savings of nearly 33-cents per gallon of gasoline and 31-cents per gallon of diesel fuel. The drive was launched earlier today as Tedisco delivered the first batch of petitions to a local gas station on Western Avenue in Albany.

"There's no question about it - record-high gas prices are truly hurting motorists, small businesses and our economy. A big reason why gas is so expensive in New York is because of three separate state taxes. Other neighboring states do not have gas taxes as high as ours and it shows in the fact that motorists in those states pay less for a gallon of gas," Tedisco said.

"Speaking as the owner of Campus Mobil and someone with many years in the gas businesses, I can tell you firsthand that the connection between high gas taxes and high gas prices is real. The three separate taxes on a gallon of gas and diesel fuel that are imposed by state government have a direct bearing on the price motorists pay at the pump," said Christian King, proprietor of Campus Mobil in Albany, New York.

"Our Assembly Minority Conference believes that now is the time to give motorists some of the relief they have been asking for. The quickest way to do that is by enacting a summertime break from the three separate state taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, as it would save motorists roughly 30-cents per gallon, every time they fill their tanks," Tedisco stated.

"The Senate Majority has already passed legislation that institutes a summer holiday from gas taxes. Now it is time for the Assembly Majority to stop delaying and follow suit. Motorists deserve a break from these soaring gas prices and suspending the state taxes on fuel would translate into real savings," Tedisco said.

"The goal of our statewide grassroots petition drive is simple: build enough support among overtaxed, overburdened motorists to get the Assembly Majority to take action and pass our bill that would make the gas tax holiday a reality," Tedisco concluded.

Tedisco said the Assembly Minority's petition drive is expected to last several weeks. Petitions will be collected at the district and legislative offices of Assembly Minority Conference Members and then hand-delivered to Sheldon Silver, the Speaker of the Assembly.

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